Rider 8, UMES 0/Rider 2, UMES 0
Rider University 8, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 0
Rider University 2, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 0
PRINCESS ANNE, MD-The Broncs opened the 2010 season with a doubleheader sweep at Maryland Eastern Shore Sunday. "It was good to get out on real grass and dirt," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "For the most part we played well. We played good defense and we pitched pretty well."
Rider (2-0) received strong starting pitching from senior Ryan Miller (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) and junior Mike Thomas (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston), and four hits and three RBI from senior Matt McCollum (Tabernacle, N.J./Shawnee).
In the first game McCollum and junior Karl Johnston (Hamilton, N.J./Peddie) each collected three hits, including a double and a triple. McCollum had a pair of RBI. "Karl did a good job," Davis said. "He hit the ball hard, put it in play."
Miller pitched six innings for the win, striking out four while allowing just two hits. "We scored some runs that gave him a cushion to work," Davis said. "He pitched well. He did fine."
Miller was 3-0 last year and is now 9-5 in his Rider career.
Rider scored three runs in the first inning on one hit, an RBI single by McCollum, one error and three walks.
The Broncs made it 4-0 in the fourth inning and scored twice in the sixth inning on RBI doubles by senior Eric Woodrow (Hamilton, N.J./Hamilton West) and Johnston.
McCollum hit an RBI triple, the first of his career, in the ninth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly for the final score. "The score was 8-0 but it seemed closer because we never had a big inning," Davis said. "It was 3-0, 4-0 and 6-0 most of the game."
Senior Brian Herman (Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan) pitched two hitless innings of relief, striking out two.
In the second game Thomas pitched six shutout innings, striking out eight. "Thomas was pretty good," Davis said. "He threw strikes." Thomas allowed two walks and four singles in six innings. "He was in command. It was not ideal conditions, a chilly day with wind.
Thomas is now 12-6 as a Bronc.
Freshman Tyler Smith (Westmont,/Haddon Township) earned the save, striking out two in his collegiate debut. "Smith was about as good as you could be," Davis said. "I don't think he threw a ball. Eight straight strikes, got a ground out."
Rider scored both of its runs in its final at bat. With one out in the top of the seventh inning, junior John Ralston (Annandale, Va./Paul VI) reached base on an error. Senior Garrett Rugg (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) pinch ran and scored on an RBI double by McCollum. "Matt dropped it in just over shortstop and hustled all the way to second," Davis said. "Their pitcher was pretty good. He threw a great game."
McCollum scored on an RBI single by senior Nick Wojnowski (Baldwin, Md./Calvert Hall). McCollum's four hits gives him 110 for his career.
The Broncs play UMES in a doubleheader Monday at 12 noon. "I think we'll be better tomorrow," Davis said. "We were a little out-of-sync at times today, being our first day outside. Hopefully we'll swing the bats a little better tomorrow. We've still got a lot of work to do."
After the four-game series at Maryland Eastern Shore Rider travels to Boone, North Carolina top take on Appalachian State in a four game series starting March 5.