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Rider University 3, Canisius College 2
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Broncs had a come-from-behind Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Canisius Sunday and are now sitting in first place in the MAAC. “One-run wins are tough to come by,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
With the win, Rider (16-12, 5-1 MAAC) has won eight of its last 11 games.
Rider sophomore shortstop Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to give Rider a 2-1 lead. “That ended up being a big hit for us,” Davis said.
“With runners on second and third I’m just trying to put the ball in play there,” said Parsons, who has three doubles in his last four games. “When I hit it I thought it was a sacrifice fly but it kept going over his head.”
Junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) hit a two-out, RBI single, also in the sixth inning, to give Rider a 3-1 lead.
Mulderig had two of Rider’s four hits Sunday and has eight hits in his last four games. “Jerry can be very productive for us hitting in the fourth or fifth spot,” Davis said.
Rider sophomore Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) pitched six innings for the win, improving to a team-best 6-1 on the season. “He gave us what we needed,” Davis said. Sowa struck out two and allowed just four hits.
The 2012 MAAC Pitcher of the Year, junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie), was scratched from the starting slot yesterday due to illness but felt strong enough to pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out four. “He felt better yesterday and today he got it into the ninth inning for us,” Davis said.
Sophomore Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) got the final out for his seventh save of the season. “He’s worked himself into the role as closer,” Davis said. “He isn’t afraid of the situation, he doesn’t panic and he throws strikes.”
Rider sophomore catcher Eric Strano (Robbinsville) also had a hit.
Canisius (20-10, 4-5 MAAC) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly and cut the lead to 3-2 in the eighth inning with an unearned run on a single, an error, a hit batsman and a wild pitch.
The Broncs are currently the only MAAC team with just one loss in conference play. “We’ve played three less games than most of the teams so it’s probably easier to have just one loss,” Davis said. “We’ve won five out of six, that’s a good start. Our challenge now is that four of the next six weekends (conference series) are on the road. We’re certainly going to have to play well on the road.”
Rider leads the all-time series with Canisius 31-22, but Canisius had won the last five meetings before this weekend. Canisius defeated Rider three times in the regular season last year and again in the 2012 playoffs.
“It’s awesome beating a team as good as Canisius,” Parsons said. “They took all three from us at their place last year and we were hyped to play them in the MAAC Championship last year and they beat us again. We really wanted to be competitive against them this year.”
The Broncs host Lehigh in a make-up game (rain out from March 6) on Tuesday at 3:30 pm and travel to NJIT Wednesday. “These are games we want to win,” Davis said, “and at the same time try to get better. We’re still making a lot of mistakes.”