Rider University 6, La Salle University 5
PHILADELPHIA, PA— The Broncs stole a victory at La Salle Tuesday. “It is just good to win,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
With nine stolen bases, Rider defeated La Salle in the final non-conference game of the regular season. “We took advantage of some opportunities today,” Davis said. “We did a good job.”
Rider (15-31) entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in stolen bases per game and 14th in total stolen bases with 84 in 45 games.
Rider scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning on four hits and two walks, including a double by senior Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA/Hershey), an RBI single by junior Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) and a two-run single by junior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) to take a 5-1 lead. “Thomas had a big hit,” Davis said of his RBI leader, who now has 45 on the season.
Locklear and Parsons each had two stolen bases. Junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) stole his NCAA Division I leading 39th base of the season and is now just one stolen base shy of the Rider record that has stood since 1967.
Rider junior David Hafer (Pine Grove, PA) improved to 4-3 on the season with his fifth career win. Hafer pitched seven innings and allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out five. “As far as throwing strikes he was as good today as he has been all year,” Davis said of his mid-week starting lefty. “He only walked two and he was able to throw the ball in (side). He really looked good.”
Junior Eric Thomas (Dallastown, PA/Dallastown Area) pitched the final inning and two-thirds, striking out three of the five batters he faced for his second save of the season and the fourth of his career. “He came in in a tight situation and pitched out of it,” Davis said. “He did a good job and finished strong. His last two outings have been really good. He has good stuff and when he’s on he is as good as any.”
Freshman Giovanni Gussen (Mullica Hill, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) singled home Parsons to tie the score at 1-1 in the fifth inning. “Giovanni had a big hit for us,” Davis said.
The Explorers scored two runs on two hits and a Rider error in the eighth inning to cut the lead to 6-5.
La Salle (13-34) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on two hits and a Rider error. The Explorers cut the lead to 6-3 in the seventh inning with two runs on two hits and a Rider error.
The Broncs play Iona Thursday at 1pm in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader, with the third game of the series being played Saturday at 5pm. “We still have a chance to get into the playoffs,” Davis said. “We have high-character kids. They’ve played hard all year. We haven’t played well all year but we’ve played hard. And I think we’ll play hard this coming week at Iona and we’ll see what happens.”