Broncs Sweep Stags
Rider University 5, Fairfield University 3
Rider University 11, Fairfield University 1
FAIRFIELD, CT-Led by sophomore Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South), the Broncs swept a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday at Fairfield. "We didn't play great today," said Rider head coach Barry Davis, "but any time you win two conference games on the road it's great."
In the first game Mulderig collected the game-winning hit in the top of the ninth inning and pitched the bottom of the ninth for his first collegiate save. "Jerry had the big hit," Davis said, "and then he came in and threw strikes. He attacked the (strike) zone, which was very important in that situation."
In the second game junior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.), an All-East closer last year who was a Preseason All-American this year, made his first collegiate start and threw a four-hitter, striking out six in a seven-inning complete game. "Tyler was very good," Davis said. "He was in command of the game."
Mulderig added three more hits and three more RBI in the nightcap. "Jerry had a big day," Davis said.
In the top of the ninth inning in the first game Mulderig hit a two-run double to give Rider a 5-3 lead. Sophomore Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) reached base on an error to start the ninth and scored the tying run on a single by junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.).
"We played all nine innings," Davis said. "Lindsay's ball was just fair by about a foot, allowing us to tie it."
Sophomore Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) pitched eight innings and allowed just one earned run. "He pitched another great game," Davis said of his ace. "Once again he gave us a chance."
The Stags took a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning without a hit, scoring on an error, a passed ball and another error, Rider's fourth of the game.
Rider tied the score in the fifth inning at 2-2 with a walk, an error and a ground out by graduate student Ryan Murphy (Yardville, N.J./Steinert).
The Broncs got on the board in the fourth inning on a walk, an error and an RBI single by freshman Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge), cutting the lead to 2-1.
Fairfield scored two runs in the second inning on two hits, a walk and a Rider error to take a 2-0 lead.
In the second game Smith kept the Stags off the scoreboard until the sixth inning when Fairfield (11-19, 2-6 MAAC) scored one run on two hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly.
The Broncs (9-20, 4-4 MAAC) scored four runs on five hits in the sixth to take an 11-0 lead. In the sixth senior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) doubled, his third hit of the game, and scored on an RBI single by Nick Crescenzo for an 8-0 lead and junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) followed with an RBI single for a 9-0 lead. Mulderig's two-run single made it 11-0.
The Broncs scored two runs in the fifth on three hits and an error, including another RBI single by Mulderig, to take a 7-0 lead. "I felt the biggest runs of the game were when we went from up five to up seven," Davis said.
Rider scored four runs in the second inning on four hits, the biggest a two-run single by Crescenzo, to take a 5-0 lead. "Nick had a big hit there," Davis said.
The Broncs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on two walks, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI ground out by Wayman.
Lindsay had two hits in the second game and three hits on the day.
The third game of the series will be played Monday at 12 noon.