By Tom Albano
As the saying goes, two out of three isn’t bad. This describes the Broncs’ performance at last weekend’s series against St. Peter’s.
The Broncs (23-15, 9-3 MAAC) faced off against the St. Peter’s Peacocks (13-22, 6-6 MAAC) April 20 and 21 in a three-game series that included a doubleheader on April 20. The Broncs and Peacocks split the two games, with the Peacocks winning the first and the Broncs taking the second. The next day, Rider won in dramatic-comeback fashion to take the series.
With this series victory, the Broncs have won all four of their conference series so far this season.
“You want to be able to put yourself in a position where you’re winning the series,” Head Coach Barry Davis said. “But it’s always the goal to win the series, and it won’t be any different this week when we go to Siena.”
The Broncs will open the series against Siena on April 27.
During the first game of the doubleheader, the Broncs were led by a strong outing by senior pitcher and team captain Tyler Smith, who struck out nine in 7.1 innings pitched. The Peacocks, however, came back to score four runs in the eighth and ninth innings to win 4-2.
“I felt great the whole game, but I started to get a little tired in the eighth,” Smith said. “I gave up a couple hits and one run and then turned it over to the bullpen. St. Peter’s was able to rally in the eighth to score and get the lead. Sure, the one inning was the difference score-wise, but we were only able to get two runs the whole game. We definitely had some missed opportunities to score more runs.”
The Broncs turned it around on the Peacocks after another strong outing from senior pitcher Mike Murphy. Murphy tossed a complete game shutout, striking out four and only surrendering four hits. The Broncs, who scored all three of their runs that game in the first inning, consequently went on to take the second game of the doubleheader 3-0 with Murphy’s performance.
The rubber match of the three-game set saw a lack of offense from the Broncs. St. Peter’s led 2-0 heading into the eighth in a game which had the St. Peter’s starting pitcher hold a perfect game through 4.2 innings. The tide turned for the Broncs, however, when senior third baseman Adam Wayman hit a two-out, bases-clearing double to give the Broncs a 3-2 lead. Wayman then scored on a St. Peter’s throwing error. The Broncs won 4-2.
Now the Broncs will try to keep the momentum going for this weekend’s series against Siena, which is currently tied for first in the standings with the Broncs.
“The series against Siena this weekend is going to be huge for us,” Smith said. “As a team we need to put together some complete ballgames, and we need to be on-point in the field, on the mound and in the box. If we play to our ability we should come away from the Siena series with a win.”