Rider 14, LIU 8

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: April 23, 2008
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Derek Caldwell's first win since
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information

College Baseball

Rider University 14, Long Island University 8

 

LAWRENCEVILLE—Junior Maurice Williams (Ocean, N.J./Monmouth Regional) had four hits and freshman Mason Heyne (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) had three RBI to lead Rider to victory over Long Island University Wednesday. “It’s always good to win a game after you lose,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “It certainly wasn’t pretty.”

 

Rider (21-16) took a 9-8 lead in the sixth inning when junior James Hayes (Sunrise, Fla./Piper) struck out but reached first on a wild pitch, and went all the way to third on a bad throw from the LIU catcher. Hayes scored on a ground out to give Rider the lead for good.  “We took advantage of a couple of their errors, and that was good to see,” Davis said.

 

Hayes and junior Sean Olson (Vineland, N.J./St. Augustine Prep) each had two of Rider’s 16 hits.

 

Sophomore Matt McCollum (Tabernacle, N.J./Shawnee) hit a pinch hit two-run home run in the seventh inning to give Rider an 11-8 lead. “He threw me an inside slider and it hung a little bit,” said McCollum, whose home run was just the second hit by a Bronc at Sonny Pittaro field this season. “I’ve been swinging at bad pitches lately but that was right down the middle. With a runner on first I was just trying to pull the ball through the hole,” said the left-handed McCollum.  “I was looking for something middle in and got it.”

 

“I thought the match-up was good,” Davis said. “Matt being a left-handed hitter against their right-handed side arm thrower, and Matt came through.”

 

Rider tied the score at 8-8 in the fifth inning when Williams led off with a single and eventually scored on a ground ball.

 

Junior Derek Caldwell (Allentown, Pa./Salisbury) pitched three and one-third innings of relief for the win, his first since winning his final four starts of the 2005 season. “It feels good,” said Caldwell, who missed most of 2006 and all of 2007 following surgery. “My change-up was working pretty well today. I’ve been working on that pitch. It feels like I’m back.”

 

“I thought the biggest key to the game was Caldwell,” Davis said. “He came in and threw strikes. It looked like he had command.”  Caldwell struck out three and walked just one, allowing four hits. He allowed two runs in the fifth inning and nothing in the sixth and seventh innings. “Shutting them down was the key,” Davis said. “That allowed our offense to settle in. Caldwell got us to where we needed to be.”

 

Sophomore Kris Brown (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) pitched the final two innings for the save, allowing just one hit while striking out two. “I felt comfortable bringing Brown in,” Davis said. “He came in and did a good job, not allowing them to get anything going.”

 

Rider scored six runs in the third inning on six hits, with Heyne hitting a two-run double, freshman Steve Galella (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) hitting an RBI triple and sophomore Eric Woodrow (Hamilton, N.J./Hamilton West) adding an RBI double, to give the Broncs a 7-2 lead.

 

LIU (11-25) came back to score four runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth inning to take an 8-7 lead.  Rider defeated LIU 6-2 on April 8 in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Rider hosts Niagara in a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series this weekend, beginning with a 12 noon doubleheader Saturday.

 

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