Rider baseball lost two of its three games against Delaware over the weekend, falling on both March 4 and March 5, but finished the weekend with a win on March 6, before losing to West Virginia on March 8.
The Broncs started the weekend with their worst loss of the season. Delaware scored two runs in the first and never looked back. By the fifth inning, the score was 7-1 and the Blue Hens went on to add eight more runs before the night was over.
The lone bright spot of the game was the top of the second for Rider. The team had three baserunners in the inning with utility senior Jake Barbiere scoring the sole Rider run of the evening.
The second game of the series went a bit better for the Broncs, but still ended in a 6-3 loss. Senior pitcher Frank Doelling started poor, allowing two runs in the first.
From there, Doelling only gave up two more runs but pitched three innings where he didn’t even give up a hit.
“As a starting pitcher, your job is to limit the damage so looking back on it, holding a good hitting team like that to four runs in six innings after the bad start I had in the first inning, it gave me some confidence going forward to next weekend,” said Doelling.
On the offensive side of the ball, the middle of the game was where Rider shined with a group of walks leading to two runs in the fourth. The following inning junior infielder John Volpe hit a solo home run, shrinking the lead to one run. Unfortunately for Rider, Delaware went on to score two runs and win the game.
The final game of the series was the one to end the offensive cold streak, as they had their best offensive game of the season so far winning 14-6.
Early on, it looked to be a pitching duel as heading into the fourth inning, it was tied at one. Senior outfielder Alex Diamantis hit a two-run triple in the fourth and the team never looked back.
Delaware was able to close the gap temporarily thanks to a three-run shot in the fifth. Unlike the other games in the series, the Broncs answered back as they dropped six more runs in the sixth inning, putting the game out of reach once and for all.
Even though the team struggled early on, the performance in the final game of the series gave Head Coach Barry Davis hope.
“Once we got the bats going, I mean it’s just we forced the pitcher to work,” said Davis. “[We] got the guy’s pitch count up, got into their bullpen which is something you want to do.”
The Broncs went into a road game against West Virginia on March 8 knowing they had to play perfectly. They came close, but fell painfully short, losing 5-4 in 10 innings.
West Virginia took an early lead in the third before it settled into a pitching duel for a majority of the game. Rider’s bats woke up first as they scored three runs in the seventh before West Virginia answered right back with two to tie it at four in the eighth.
This score held until graduate student reliever Cal Stalzer gave up a walk-off double in the tenth inning.
Rider next travels further south to take on East Tennessee State on March 11 at 3 p.m.