Rider University 4, St. Bonaventure 1
WILSON, NC--The Broncs defeated Saint Bonaventure in the first game of a four-game series, played at historic Fleming Stadium. "We have to hit better but anytime you win the first one it's good," said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
Senior Tyler Smith (Westmont, NJ/Haddon Twp.) started and pitched seven innings, striking out seven while walking just one and allowing just five hits. Smith improves to 3-1 on the season.
"Things are going well for me so far," said Smith, who struck out eight South Carolina batters in his last outing. "I've been feeling great. I felt awesome at SC and today was not as good a feeling but we won."
Smith was a Preseason All-American closer last year but mid-year was moved to the starting rotation, and has been there ever since. "It was nice this year starting the season with my routine down, instead of having to change it like last year," Smith said. "I've been able to mix my pitches up."
"Tyler is always going to keep you in the game," Davis said. "He came out again today and threw strikes. Everything he did was great."
Rider (7-4) scored three runs on five hits in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie.
In the sixth, sophomore Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) hit an RBI single to give Rider a 2-1 lead and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Greg Fazio (Far Hills, NJ/Ridge). "Justin drove the ball to the ball," Davis said.
Junior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton) also hit an RBI single in that inning. "That was a big hit as well," Davis said, "getting another run across."
The Bonnies (3-7) tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning with a two-out double and an RBI single.
Rider took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when sophomore Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA) singled, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY). "We scratched that one run when Parsons got a big hit for us," Davis said.
Parson also had three walks and three stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. "Mike has a good approach at the plate," Davis said. "He's not afraid to get two strikes on him and he runs the bases well. We're still looking for a leadoff hitter and with the lefty going today he did a good job."
Sophomore Zack Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) earned the save, his third, with a two strikeouts in the ninth. "Zack did a good job," Davis said.
Junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) had two of Rider's nine hits, including a double.
Rider and St. Bonaventure play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 4pm. "It's going to be a tough series for us," Davis said.