Rider University 9, Hofstra University 7
HEMPSTEAD, NYŚ Sophomore Matt McCollum (Tabernacle, N.J./Shawnee) had three hits, including the game-winning home run, to lead Rider to victory at Hofstra Tuesday. “If you score nine runs you should win the game,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We played solid defense and pitched well late in the game.”
Junior Sean Olson (Vineland, N.J./St. Augustine Prep) hit two home runs, including one in the ninth inning for the final score. “Sean had some big hits,” Davis said. “The first one gave us a 6-4 lead, and the second one ended up being big because Hofstra got two runners on in the ninth.”
Rider (6-2) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run double by freshman Mason Heyne (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock). “Mason had a big double for us,” Davis said, “giving us an early lead, and he made some nice plays at third base.”
The Broncs scored three more in the second inning when sophomore Nick Wojnowski (Baldwin, Md./Calvert Hall) doubled and scored on a double by senior Jon Leise (Woodbury, N.J./West Deptford), and freshman Steve Galella (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) hit a two-run single. “That was a good start,” Davis said.
Heyne, Wojnowski, Leise and Galella each had two hits in the game.
Hofstra (4-7) took a 7-6 lead before Rider tied the score in the sixth inning when McCollum doubled and scored on a double by freshman John Ralston (Annandale, Va./Paul VI).
McCollum’s eighth inning home run gave Rider an 8-7 lead, and Olson’s second home run of the game gave Rider a 9-7 lead in the ninth.
Sophomore Kris Brown (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) pitched one and one-third innings of relief for the victory, and junior James Hayes (Sunrise, Fla./Piper) moved from right field to the mound to pitch the ninth for his second save of the season and the 17th of his career.
Rider travels to Birmingham, Alabama to play Samford in a three-game series, beginning Friday evening. “We’re going on Spring Break with the best record we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Davis said. “We’ll travel down there with some confidence and hopefully it will carry over Friday night. Samford is pretty good, so we’re looking forward to a good weekend against a good club.”