Longwood University 4, Rider University 3
Rider University 16, Longwood University 3
LAWRENCEVILLE--On Senior Day, all four seniors "had a day."
"Certainly excited for the seniors," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "It was a good way for them to go out. Chris Pierfy hasn't played a whole lot and comes up with two hits and came within a few feet of a home run. Ryan Murphy had a good day with three hits. Pat Devlin pitched well and Brandon Cotten had a couple of hits and four RBI. Just a solid day."
The Broncs split a doubleheader with Longwood Saturday on the final day of the regular season, as all four seniors contributed with a positive performance.
In the second game the Broncs (21-32, 13-11 MAAC) broke the game open with six runs in the fourth inning on seven singles, including a two-run single by senior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) and two singles in the inning by junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.), taking a 12-3 lead.
Rider had a season high 20 hits in the regular season finale. "We hit in bunches and it was nice to get a win on the last game (at home in the regular season)," Davis said.
Graduate student Ryan Murphy (Yardville, N.J./Steinert), junior Richie Garcia (Franklin Square, N.Y./Valley Stream North) and freshman Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) each hit an RBI single in the third inning to give Rider a 6-3 lead.
"Today was awesome," said Murphy, who red-shirted the 2008 season and graduated last year but came back as a graduate student this year. "I'm still trying to get the smile off of my face. My career has some good memories in it but I'm hoping the ultimate memory is still ahead, winning a third MAAC Championship in my five years."
Cotten hit a two-run single in the second inning to tie the score at 3-3. Cotten had four RBI in the second game. "It was great to see all four seniors end the home season on a good note," said Cotten, who enters postseason play with 208 career hits, sixth most ever at Rider, 139 career runs, ninth most ever at Rider and 103 RBI, 21st most ever at Rider.
Senior Chris Pierfy (Hamilton, N.J./Nottingham) hit an RBI single to get Rider on the board in the second inning. "Today was good," said Pierfy, who owns a .348 career batting average at Rider, with eight hits. "It was nice to get some hits and get a win for the team."
Longwood (27-21) hit a double and a home run in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead and went up 3-0 on two more hits in the second inning.
After that, freshman Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) settled down and pitched six innings for the win, his fifth, striking out five and walking just one.
Sophomore Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South), junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial), freshman Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge), Murphy, Pierfy and Garcia all had two hits each in the regular season finale.
In the first game Longwood took a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning with a two-run home run.
The Lancers scored two runs in the fifth inning on their first two hits of the game and a walk, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Senior Patrick Devlin (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock North) pitched the first three scoreless, hitless innings, striking out two, facing just nine batters. "I felt good today," said Devlin. "It's nice to go out on a good note. Hopefully I'll pitch as well in the MAAC tournament."
Sophomore Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA/Hershey) hit an RBI single with two outs in the third inning for a 3-0 lead. Kremer had two of Rider's nine hits in the first game.
Mulderig hit a two-run single with two outs in the second inning to give Rider a 2-0 lead.
Freshman David Hafer (Pine Grove, PA) pitched three innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out four.
Hafer pitched out of a bases-loaded, one out jam in the sixth inning.
Rider out-hit Longwood 9-7 in game one. Rider out-hit Longwood in all four games of the series.
Rider will now play defending champion Manhattan in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, Thursday, May 24 at 3pm at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY, hosted by Siena.
"We're 0-0 now," Davis said. "We feel we can compete and we're going in feeling we have an opportunity to win. I think we have a chance to win the whole thing. We played well against Manhattan this year but we know how good they are."
"Having beaten Manhattan twice this year, it is nice to know the team you are facing is not unbeatable," said Murphy.
Manhattan is the top seed, Canisius is the second seed and Fairfield is the third seed. "Manhattan and Canisius have been here before and Fairfield might be playing the best of all of us right now," Davis said. "We just feel good about being in it."
"I think we have just as good a chance as the other three teams," said Pierfy, "so hopefully we can pull it out again."
"It doesn't matter who we play in the MAAC tournament," Cotten said, "we just have to go out there and play hard and score more runs then them."