College Baseball-May 22,2015
FISHKILL, NY—The Rider baseball season came to a premature end Friday in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.
Rider (28-22), the top seed, lost to Canisius (31-28), the second seed, in the elimination game, after holding a five-run lead. “We’ve done this all year, where we get an early lead and can’t hold it,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis, the 2015 MAAC Coach of the Year. “You have to give Canisius credit, they did a good job.”
Canisius scored four runs in the eighth inning on a grand slam to take an 8-5 lead. Before that, Rider was 24-1 this year when leading after six innings. “I guess the law of averages say it is eventually going to happen.” Davis said. “It is just unfortunate that we put ourselves in that position.”
Rider cut the lead to 8-6 in the eighth inning on an RBI double by sophomore Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert), and got it to within one run with an RBI single by senior Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge) in the ninth inning. Rider had the tying and winning runs on base when the game ended on a double play.
Canisius scored three runs in the seventh inning on three hits to cut the lead to 5-4. “Canisius put some good swings on the ball,” Davis said.
Canisius out-hit Rider 13-8.
Senior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) hit an RBI single in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead. “Nick was again outstanding at third base and at the plate,” Davis said. “We’re going to miss him.”
Richter had two hits and three RBI in the game and started a double play on a diving stop in the seventh inning to stop a Canisius rally.
Richter had four hits and four RBI in two games in the tournament and will most likely be named to the all-tournament team.
Canisius got on the board for the first time in the sixth inning with a run on two hits and a sacrifice fly.
Rider senior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) hit a two-run home run in the first inning for a 2-0 lead and Richter hit a two-run double in the second inning for a 4-0 lead.
The home run was the fifth of the season for Thomas, and the third one hit in Dutchess Stadium. Thomas hit two home runs in Dutchess Stadium in the regular season series with Manhattan.
Red-shirt freshman Brian Uliana (Bethlehem, PA/Freedom) had two of Rider’s eight hits.
Rider freshman starter Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Ignatius) pitched six innings and allowed three runs while striking out four. Margevicius left the game in the seventh inning with a 5-1 lead.
Canisius lost 6-1 to Quinnipiac in the second round after receiving a first round bye and eliminated Marist in the loser’s bracket. Canisius will play Quinnipiac Friday night for the right to play Siena Saturday in the Championship Round.
Rider won two of three games at Canisius April 3-4. The Golden Griffins defeated Margevicius 8-6 in the third game of that series.
Canisius defeated top-seeded Rider 18-7 in the second round of the 2013 MAAC Tournament.
In the winner’s bracket earlier on Friday, #4 Siena defeated #3 Quinnipiac 6-5 in 10 innings.