Rider falls to George Mason before three-game set at Canisius

Senior Brandon Cotten recorded two hits against the highly skilled George Mason team. The Broncs lost the game decisively, 12-1.

By Maria Eldridge

The Broncs (7-16, 2-1 MAAC) suffered a tough loss against George Mason (16-10, 4-5 CAA) on Wednesday at Sonny Pitaro field. The Broncs dropped an 11-run deficit with a final score of 12-1. George Mason gathered 14 hits, battling through seven Broncs pitchers.

“Today’s missing link was pitching,” said freshman infielder Troy Miller. “Not to say that was the only problem, but it is hard to win when you let up the amount of runs we let up today.”

The pitching lineup included sophomore Kyle Kennett and freshman Eric Thomas, who pitched a combined 4.3 innings, letting up eight runs. Thomas earned four strikeouts while walking only one batter. Junior Tyler Smith continued his consistent performance on the mound, closing the game with a strikeout and allowing two hits.

The weekend presents a battle for the Broncs, as they go into a three-game series at Canisius (13-13, MAAC 2-1). The Griffins are 4-1 at home and have battled through some tough games. The Griffins have faced tough opponents such as No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Miami (FL). The Broncs are looking to gain a victory by improving their overall game and remaining focused.

“We need to improve everything we do out in the field,” Miller said. “When you only do a couple things right and the other team does everything right, it’s hard to win. We really just need to come out focused on the task at hand and win the series.”

Senior Brandon Cotten has played a key role in this season, remaining consistent in pressure situations.

“Cotten’s a really good player who is a key ingredient on our team,” Miller said. “[He] comes through for us, so you could say that we look at him to get that hit.”

The Broncs have had a tough season thus far, facing solid southern teams on the road such as Appalachian State and Charleston Southern. “Playing the way we know we can play will really help our chances against Canisius,” Miller said.

Sophomore Mike Murphy and junior Joe Calogero, two pitchers for the Broncs, have produced positive results on the mound and should make appearances this weekend. Murphy’s ERA is currently 2.25, allowing 31 hits through 36 innings pitched.  Calogero’s ERA is 1.69 for 5.1 innings, allowing four hits.

Though the Broncs are typically confident at bat, the lack of hits was a factor in their struggle against George Mason.

“We emphasize [batting] a lot, but sometimes you just have a bad day,” Miller said. “We regularly out-hit our opponent, today just was not our day.”

Despite falling to George Mason, the Broncs continue to have confidence in each other’s abilities on the field and feel their team chemistry will get them through the tough match-ups.

“Our biggest strength in my eyes is our team chemistry,” Miller said. “We all like each other, we hang out together.”

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