FISHKILL, N.Y. - Rider University scored four runs in the first and added a single run in the second frame as the third-seeded Broncs defeated No. 1 seed Canisius College 10-5 Thursday night in the winner's bracket game of the 2010 MAAC Baseball Championship at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, N.Y. The win allows Rider (35-21) to advance to the championship round of the MAAC Tournament, while the Golden Griffins (38-20) will meet No. 4 seed Manhattan at 3 p.m., Friday afternoon in an elimination game.
The Broncs came out of the gates swinging, scoring four runs on five hits in the top of the first off Canisius starter Mike Goemans. Rider started the game with back-to-back base hits and took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Cotten scored on a wild pitch. Moments later, senior outfielder Nick Wojnowski roped an RBI-single to right center that allowed second baseman A.J. Albee to score from second. Rider shortstop John Ralston gave the Broncs a 4-0 lead when he drove in two runs with a single through the left side of the infield. In the second inning, junior Mason Heyne drove in Cotten from third base with a base hit to left.
The game would remain 5-0 in favor of the Broncs until the home half of the fifth when Canisius junior Brian Burton drilled a solo shot over the fence in left to make it 5-1. Rider answered with two runs in the top of the sixth when Albee drove in a run with a double to the gap in left center, and he would score later in the frame on a wild pitch.
Canisius cut into Rider's 7-1 cushion in the sixth with three runs. Senior Ian Choy got the scoring started with an RBI-single to right that allowed junior Will Chomicki to score from second, and that hit was followed by a fielder's choice RBI off the bat of Steve McQuail that allowed junior Sean Jamieson to cross the plate from third base. After Burton put runners at first and third with a base hit to right, senior Shayne Willson knocked an RBI-base hit to center than drove in McQuail to make the score 7-4.
The Griffs plated a single run in the home half of the seventh on an RBI-single by Jamieson to put the Blue and Gold within two at 7-5, but Rider answered in the top half of the eighth when Albee hit a three-run homer to left that drove in Cotton and Karl Johnston to end the scoring.
Rider freshman Mike Murphy earned the win on the hill for the Broncs after he allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits while striking out seven and walking two in seven innings of work. Goemans took the loss for the Griffs after he gave up five runs on eight hits to go with four walks through 4.1 innings of work before he was lifted for reliever Billy Martin. Martin gave up five runs, three of which were earned, on three hits to go with two strikeouts and three walks.
For Canisius, Burton ended the night by going 2-for-4 with a homer, a run scored and a RBI, while Jamieson went 2-for-2 with a run batted in and a run scored. Albee went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored in the winning effort for Rider.
Canisius will meet Manhattan in an elimination game for the third-straight year on Friday at 3 p.m. The winner of that game will need to beat Rider two times to earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. Manhattan scored three runs in the top of the ninth to beat Marist 6-5 in the tournament's first elimination game on Thursday afternoon.
GAME NOTES: Rider is now 2-1 all-time against Canisius in
the MAAC Tournament... Goemans made his fifth career MAAC Tournament start on
Thursday, which is a school record... Jamieson has now reached base safely in 34
of the Griffs' last 36 games, and his base hit in the first inning moved his
hitting streak to eight-straight games... Burton has six RBIs in his last six
MAAC Tournament games, dating back to last year... McQuail's RBI in the sixth inning was
the 80th this season.... Chomicki has scored a run in both of the
Griffs' postseason games this year... Martin made his first career MAAC Tournament appearance in the losing effort.