By Shaun Chornobroff
Following a three-game series against East Tennessee State, the baseball team’s early perfect record has been spoiled.
The Broncs started their week by dropping two of three games against East Tennessee State.
The series opener did not go Rider’s way as it was shutout 7-0. The Broncs could only muster three hits the entire game.
Senior pitcher Pete Soporowski took the loss, but was ultimately dealt a bad hand.
Soporowski was dominant through the first four innings as the game was deadlocked at zero, but two errors in the fifth inning would lead to four unearned runs and ultimately the loss.
Soporowski has a 0.82 earned run average after his first two starts.
Rider’s bullpen gave up two more runs in the next inning and the Broncs dug themselves into an almost insurmountable 6-0 hole.
Rider’s three hits came from redshirt sophomore infielder Jake Barbiere, senior outfielder Sebastian Williamson and freshman infielder John Volpe, who entered as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.
Rider made up for its series-opening woes with a 7-4 win in the second game.
The star of the day was pitcher Frank Doelling. The sophomore had a career day, allowing only three hits and one earned run en route to his first win of the season.
Rider’s offense may have had its most consistent performance of the early season.
The team had been scoring in bunches, and although inconsistent, Rider pushed runners across the plate in five different innings.
The Broncs had eight different batters get on base during the win.
Rider played it’s best defense of the season, completing its first errorless game of the year.
Barbiere proved to drive in the game-winning run in the seventh inning when an error by an East Tennessee State shortstop allowed Volpe to score Rider’s fifth run.
East Tennessee State scored three in the last two innings, but Rider prevailed for their fourth win of the season.
Rider’s pitching would let it down on Feb. 23 as it dropped the series’ rubber game, 10-4.
Rider jumped out to a hot start in the game with RBI singles from Barbiere and senior outfielder Joe Simone that put the Broncs up 2-0 before the first out had been recorded.
Freshman infielder Luke Lesch drove in his second-career RBI on a groundout and senior catcher Chris Roan drove in another run on a fielder’s choice.
Rider was up 4-0 after the top of the first inning, but would self destruct as fast as it built the lead.
Rider’s first two pitchers, freshman Kenny Ouijamo and sophomore Kyle Smith, could not get out of the first inning.
The pair combined to give up seven runs in only two-thirds of an inning as East Tennessee State jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first inning.
After an exciting first inning, Rider’s offense was practically silent, putting only one more runner in scoring position in the last eight innings.
Rider’s scheduled game against Lafayette on Feb. 25 was postponed due to inclement weather. The Broncs’ matchup against the Leopards has been rescheduled for Feb. 26 with a 2:15 p.m. scheduled first pitch.