Rider University 6, NJIT 4
NEWARK-The Broncs defeated the New Jersey Institute of Technology Wednesday afternoon. "We're happy with the win but certainly we would have liked to have played better," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "We scored enough to win and we hung on so we'll take it."
Freshman Kyle Kennett (Spring Lake, NJ/St. Rose) started and pitched five innings, allowing just one earned run and no walks while striking out three to improve to 2-0. "Kyle hadn't pitched in a while but he threw fine," Davis said. "He was around the plate and he gave us a chance to win."
NJIT (5-15) cut the lead to 6-3 in the fifth inning with a two-run home run and scored with two outs in the ninth for the final score. "NJIT did a good job of staying in the game," Davis said. "They had bases loaded in the eighth and two runners on in the ninth."
Sophomore Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) recorded the final four outs for his sixth save of the season.
Freshman Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to give Rider (16-10) a 5-1 lead and the Broncs made it 6-1 in the fifth inning on an RBI ground out by sophomore Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial).
Senior Karl Johnston (Hamilton, N.J./Peddie) led off the second inning with a triple and scored on a ground out for a 3-1 Rider lead. Johnston had two hits. "We took advantage of some opportunities early in the game," Davis said, "but not after the fifth inning."
Junior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) led off the game with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, went to third on another wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Mason Heyne (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) to give Rider a 1-0 lead. "Mason had some good at bats," Davis said.
Heyne had two hits, giving him 225 for his career and the RBI was the 164th of his career, four shy of the Rider record.
Senior A.J. Albee (Ashley, Pa./Hanover Area) walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by senior Steve Galella (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) for a 2-0 lead. Galella had three of Rider's 10 hits. "Steve is swinging the bat pretty good," Davis said. "He had a good day."
NJIT cut the lead to 2-1 in the first inning on a pair of hits, an error and a sacrifice fly.
Rider defeated NJIT 19-3 last year at Rider but lost 5-3 at NJIT in 2009. The Broncs won 8-1 in 2008 at Rider in the first meeting between these two teams.
Rider travels to Poughkeepsie, NY this weekend for a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series with Marist, beginning with a 12 noon doubleheader Saturday. "We'll need to play better this weekend," Davis said. "That's going to be a tough challenge for us. Marist is very good."