Manhattan College 3, Rider University 2 (11 innings)
Rider University 7, Manhattan College 0
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—The Broncs split a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader with Manhattan Saturday. The third game of the series is Sunday at 12 noon.
“Even if we don’t win the series we are probably still in the hunt (for the MAAC Playoffs) but we’re running out of opportunities,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis, “so we need to take advantage of the ones we are getting.”
In the second game junior Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) pitched a two-hit shutout for his third win of the season. “It was a great job by Zach,” Davis said.
“I felt pretty good today, able to throw strikes,” said Mawson, who now has four wins and 11 saves in his Rider career. “Starting or closing, the situations are the same for me, just throw strikes.”
Rider (13-24, 5-7 MAAC) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton).
Richter doubled again in the third inning and scored on an RBI single by junior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) for a 2-0 lead.
The Broncs broke the game open with three runs in the fourth inning on three hits, including an RBI double by junior Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge), and two more runs in the fifth inning on three hits, including an RBI double by sophomore Connor Luff (Milford, DE/Milford).
“Our at bats were better in the second game,” Davis said.
Fazio had two of Rider’s 10 hits in the second game.
In the first game Manhattan (10-28, 5-12 MAAC) scored the winning run in the top of the 11th inning on a bunt single, a double and an RBI single.
Rider took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on four hits, including RBI singles by Thomas and Crescenzo. “We had a few innings where it was too easy for Manhattan,” Davis said. “Swinging at first pitches, making weak outs. Give Manhattan credit, their pitcher threw great.”
Rider senior pitcher Kyle Kennett (Spring Lake, NJ/St. Rose) went nine innings for a no decision, allowing just two runs while striking out four. “Kyle was terrific,” Davis said. “He did everything he needed to do to give us a chance to win.”
Kennett has allowed just seven earned runs in his last 36 innings.
Rider sophomore Brian Donnelly (Churchville, PA/Council Rock South), Richter and Thomas each had three hits in the double header.
The last time Manhattan won a series with Rider was 2008.
“It meant a lot to get the win in the second game today,” Mawson said, “hopefully we can take it into tomorrow and take the series.”
“We’re looking forward to tomorrow,” Davis said, “with an opportunity to win the series.”