Rider 10, Princeton 9
Rider University 10, Princeton University 9
LAWRENCEVILLE--A great adage about baseball is that no matter how many games you see, you can always go out to the ball park and see something new, something you've never seen before.
When your starting right-fielder, who also happens to be your closer, breaks his nose in batting practice, with a ball off of his own bat, you know you are in for a different kind of day.
Or when you score eight runs on just one hit. "I'm sure I've seen that happen somewhere along the line," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "I'm pretty sure it has probably happened to us."
The Broncs scored eight runs in the first inning on one hit and held on for a victory over cross-town rival Princeton Wednesday afternoon. "It is all part of the game," said Davis, who has coached close to 1150 games on the college level and has seen just about everything. "It didn't feel like we did a lot today to earn the win but any time you can get a win you don't complain about it."
Freshman Eric Thomas (Dallastown, PA/Dallastown Area) pitched five scoreless innings of relief, striking out a career-high eight batters, for his first collegiate win. "Thomas pitched well," Davis said.
Freshman Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) recorded the final four outs for the save, his fourth. Mawson also made an emergency start in right field and picked up his first collegiate hit. "Mawson did a good job coming in and getting four outs," Davis said.
Every player in the Rider (14-26) starting line-up scored a run.
Freshman Eric Strano (Robbinsville) had two of Rider's five hits. "We didn't swing the bat real well," Davis said, "but it was nice to see Strano get a couple of hits."
Sophomore Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA/Hershey) scored twice and had two RBI, including an RBI single in the fifth inning that gave Rider a 10-7 lead.
Rider freshman Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) had two RBI without a hit.
Six pitchers for Princeton (17-18) combined for nine walks and nine wild pitches. "They were struggling and we forced them to try to throw strikes," Davis said. "If we swing at a lot of those pitches they get out of those jams."
Mike Ford hit a grand slam for the Tigers in the second inning, cutting the lead to 8-7.
Rider scored eight runs in the first inning on one hit and seven walks.
The Broncs won 6-3 at Princeton last year. Rider and Princeton have now played 48 times since the series began in 1959 with Rider holding a 25-23 advantage
Rider returns to MAAC action this weekend with a three-game series at Saint Peter's, beginning with an 11am doubleheader Saturday. "It is going to be a tough weekend," Davis said. "They are playing pretty well and they are ahead of us in the standings. Both teams need to win. It is important for us to go up there and play well."