Rider 6, Marist 5 Rider 4, Marist 1

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: March 29, 2008
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Mason Heyne hits walk-off 2-run double
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information

College Baseball

Rider University 6, Marist College 5

Rider University 4, Marist College 1


LAWRENCEVILLE—Maybe the rookies didn’t know that Marist has won four Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference baseball championships in the last eight years.  Freshmen Mason Heyne, Steve Galella and John Ralston combined for 11 hits to lead Rider to a doubleheader sweep of the Red Foxes Saturday afternoon.


“They played us tough,” said Galella (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial). “but this is Division I, so everyone we play is going to come out and play us tough.”


In the ninth inning of the first game, Heyne (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) hit a two-run, walk-off double.  “I had a few ‘walk-offs’ in high school but none that meant as much as this one did,” Heyne said.  “In the ninth inning I got a fast ball belt high right down the middle. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”


Heyne had five hits in the doubleheader. “I was confident at the plate today, focusing on trying to hit the ball up the middle,” Heyne said.


“Mason swung the bat today and had a big hit to win the first game,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “He hit the ball hard all day. Every time up he gave us some good at bats.”


The Broncs scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on four hits.  “We hadn’t come back like that much this year and that was certainly good for the team to do,” Davis said. “It was good for the guys to see that we can get big hits in the clutch. That was a big win, coming back like that.”


Galella hit a two-run double to cut the lead to 5-4 and scored the game-winner.  “That was the big hit, by Galella, getting the score to 5-4,” Davis said.


Galella had three of Rider’s 12 hits in the first game and in the doubleheader raised his batting average 29 points  to .302. “My average wasn’t too good coming in,” Galella said. “Today I was just trying to do my part to help us win. I had the same approach today, just trying to hit the ball hard. It’s been a while since I had four hits in a day, so it feels good.”


At second base, Galella had six put outs and 10 assists. “The more balls hit to me the better,” Galella said. “It keeps me busy.”


Marist took a 5-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning with three runs on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch.


Rider tied the score at 2-2 in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Ralston (Annandale, Va./Paul VI). Back-to-back doubles by senior Jon Leise (Woodbury, N.J./West Deptford) and junior James Hayes (Sunrise, Fla./Piper) in the third inning cut the Marist lead to 2-1. 


Heyne, Hayes, Ralston and Leise each had two hits in the first game, with Leise scoring twice.


Junior Mike Petrowski (Hamilton Square, N.J./Steinert) pitched eight and one-third innings, striking out five, and allowed two earned runs.  “I thought Mike again threw well enough to win,” Davis said.


Sophomore Kris Brown (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) got the win, recording the final two outs of the ninth inning.


In the second game, Rider (11-9, 3-2 MAAC) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Galella singled and scored on a bases loaded fielder’s choice, and the Broncs scored two runs in the fourth inning on three hits, including an RBI single by junior Sean Olson (Vineland, N.J./St. Augustine Prep). 


Olson doubled in the sixth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Maurice Williams (Ocean, N.J./Monmouth Regional) for the final score.


Junior Jimmer Kennedy (Levittown, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) pitched six innings and allowed one run on three hits, striking out three for his third win of the season and the 13th of his career.  “Kennedy again gave us six solid innings,” Davis said.


Marist (5-12, 1-4 MAAC) scored its only run on a fifth inning triple and a sacrifice fly.


Hayes pitched  a scoreless seventh inning, striking out one, for his fifth save of the year and 20th of his career.


The third game of the series will be played Sunday at 12 noon. “Any time you can win two games against Marist it is certainly a plus for us,” Davis said. “They’ll be ready to go tomorrow and we’ll have our work cut out for us. They’re a good ball club.”


Just don’t tell the freshmen that.



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