By Corey Donetz
Coming off a four-game winning streak, the Rider baseball team struggled this week, going 1-4. The Broncs suffered a tough three-game sweep to MAAC rival Canisius and split games during the week, winning against St. Joseph’s and losing to Princeton.
Rider took an early one-run lead in the first inning when senior Nick Wojnowski hit an RBI single, scoring junior Mason Heyne.
Freshman pitcher Mike Thomas got the start for game one and pitched solid for the most part. He pitched six and one-third innings, allowing just three runs.
“I wasn’t as sharp this weekend as I feel I have been in the past,” Thomas said. “But sometimes you just don’t have your best stuff as a pitcher.”
Canisius took a one-run lead in the eighth inning, scoring three runs on three hits.
Junior Steve Galella hit a double to lead off the top of the ninth and quickly advanced to third base on a past ball.
Wojnowski was able to get enough under one as he hit a sacrifice fly. Canisius was able to plate the winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eleventh giving Canisis the 7-6 victory.
The second game of the doubleheader started off with Canisius taking an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. It stayed a 1-0 game until the fourth inning when Canisius’ offense exploded for five runs on six hits.
“Preventing the big inning was a problem this past weekend,” said Head Coach Barry Davis.
Rider was held to just five hits and was shutout until the sixth inning. The Broncs ended up losing 8-2.
The final game of the three-game weekend series was the worst for Rider, which lost 13-2 in just seven innings. The game was called early because of rain.
Rider returned home on Tuesday to take on St. Joseph’s. The offense and pitching both showed up as the offense surged for 10 runs and the pitching yielded a combined shutout performance.
Freshman Joe Calogero improved his unblemished record to 3-0 pitching eight strong shutout innings allowing just three hits.
“I felt great out there. I had my changeup working today and that’s the key for me,” Calogero said. “The defense played great behind me.”
Rider took a 3-0 lead after the third and that would be enough thanks to Calogero’s dominating performance.
On Wednesday, the Broncs found themselves going to extra innings again as they faced Princeton. Rider trailed 9-8 going into the bottom of the 9th, but Galella hit an RBI double in the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings. Princeton scored three runs in the 11th and held on for a 12-10 victory.
Rider looks to rebound this weekend as they take on another MAAC rival, Siena, in a three game series at home.
By Corey Donetz