After sweeping Fairfield during Saturday’s doubleheader, the men’s baseball team lost a game in extra innings to the Stags on Sunday.
During the first game on Saturday, Fairfield (11-25 overall, 9-6 MAAC) took an early lead with two runs in the second. However, Rider (21-16 overall, 9-6 MAAC) rallied and responded in the third inning with three runs to take the lead.
The Stags played catch-up, bringing the score to 4-4 in the fourth and tying it again at 6-6 in the sixth, until the top of the seventh when two stolen bases — by junior Sean Olson and freshman Steve Galella — and two Fairfield errors led to four more runs for the Broncs.
Olson’s three-run homer, sophomores Eric Woodrow’s double and Matt McCollum’s single in the eighth stretched the score to 16-7. After that the Stags never came close again as the Broncs won 17-9.
“Winning the first game was big for us, and the momentum carried over into the second game,” junior Jamie Hayes said.
In the second game of the day, the Broncs never even gave Fairfield a chance with junior Jimmer Kennedy pitching a complete game in seven innings.
The score jumped from 4-0 to 9-0 in the third inning when junior Maurice Williams had an RBI followed shortly after by Jamie Hayes’ grand slam.
“The grand slam felt good, it was a 3-1 count and coach gave me the green light,” Jamie Hayes said. “I was looking for my pitch and I got it.”
The Stags scored two runs in the third inning, but by the fifth the score was 12-2, courtesy of seniors David Hayes’ two RBIs and Jon Leise’s RBI. The game ended with the same score in the seventh.
Rider battled Fairfield for four and a half hours before losing in the 12th inning in the third game of the series on Sunday.
“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to win all three,” Head Coach Barry Davis said. “It wasn’t anything in particular; I thought we came ready to play.”
By the end of the second inning, Fairfield had gained a 6-0 lead over Rider, giving the Broncs a daunting task. However, the players brought in four runs thanks to David Hayes, who had two RBIs and later scored on a throwing error. With two outs left in the inning, freshman John Ralston’s RBI brought in Olson.
Finally, the Broncs tied the game, 10-10, in the eighth with freshman Mason Heyne’s two-run homer. After a Fairfield home run in the ninth, sophomore Nick Wojnowski’s double brought home Jamie Hayes to tie the score again and force the game into extra innings.
The Stags ended the game with an RBI single to center field in the 12th.
“Taking two out of three from the second place team was still big for us even though we felt like we could have won three,” Jamie Hayes said.
Rider lost to Monmouth (25-9 overall) on Tuesday, 8-3, for the second time in as many games this season.
The Hawks took the lead in the second inning with a three-run homer. Even though the Broncs tied the game up in the third, the Hawks blew it wide open in the seventh with a two-run homer and two individual RBIs.
“We’re not as good as they are,” Davis said. “They’ve beaten us twice with solid wins. There’s nothing that they’re doing that we don’t know they’re going to do or try to do. It’s just a matter of outplaying them and we haven’t done it.”
On Wednesday, the Broncs came back and defeated Long Island University 14-8. They took the lead in the third inning with six runs on two RBIs from Heyne and individual RBIs from Williams, Galella, Woodrow and Leise.
Although Long Island (16-35 overall) scored six more runs in the game, the Broncs stayed ahead and didn’t allow any more runs from the Blackbirds after the fifth inning.
Tomorrow the team plays a doubleheader against Niagara at home. The first game will begin at 12 p.m. and the second will start at 3 p.m.