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Fairfield Sweeps Baseball on Sunday

(McCallister, Rider)

.FAIRFIELD, CT – The Rider University baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader at Fairfield on Sunday in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play at Fairfield's Alumni Baseball Diamond. Fairfield raced past Rider, 15-1, in the opener and held on for a 5-4 victory in the series finale.

The Broncs (6-20, 1-4 MAAC) have now dropped four league games, while the Stags (11-16, 5-4 MAAC) secured the series sweep by winning a pair on Sunday.   

In game one, the Stags once again got off to a quick start plating two runs in the first and adding four more in the second. Fairfield broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with a seven-run outburst. The Broncs were unable to push more than one run across in the tilt.

On the bump in the opener, junior Zach Gakeler (Jobstown, NJ/North Burlington) got the start and took the loss for the Broncs. He worked three and two-thirds innings and allowed 11 earned runs. In relief, senior Christian Estevez (River Edge, NJ/River Dell) came in from left field to toss two scoreless innings. His innings on the mound were the only in which the Stags did not score in the first game of the day.

In game two, the Broncs opened the scoring with a run in the first, but as they have all series Fairfield answered. The Stags scored four runs in the bottom half to take a three-run edge. Rider's run in the first came on a fielder's choice from junior Riley Mihalik (Churchville, PA/Chestnut Hill Academy) after back-to-back singles to open the frame.

The Broncs answered in game two, scoring three runs in the top of the second to knot the contest at four. In the second, sophomore outfielder Joe Simone (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Hills) laced an RBI single and two runs came across on Stag errors.

Fairfield took back the lead for good in game two in the bottom of the fourth. Over the final five innings, neither team was able to push across a run.

On the mound, freshman Vincent Vitacco (Staten Island, NY/Monsignor Farrell) got the start for Rider. He suffered the loss after working three and two-thirds innings and allowing five earned runs.

At the plate in game two, Simone and sophomore Brennan McAllister (Middletown) led the offensive charge for Rider. Simone went 3-for-4 and McAllister went 2-for-5.

"It was a tough weekend all around. There were virtually no positives in game one today.  We were down early again and spent the game trying to manage it the best we could. Game two was obviously more competitive.  I thought Vitacco was good.  He struggled early, but settled down and did what we needed. His first career start was a successful one. He will get his second start next weekend." - Rider Head Coach Barry Davis

"CJ and Jordan were outstanding out of the pen.  The reason we had a chance to win it late. Just short on execution offensively.  Have to move runners and hit in scoring situations.  But overall it was a poorly played weekend.  Whether we know it or not the bar is not this low." - Davis

- Rider left seven runners on base in game one, including the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
- The Broncs had seven hits in game one.
- Rider did not commit and error in the first game.  
- Rider had eight hits and eight runners left on base in game two.
- Fairfield has now five of the last six games against the Broncs.

- Estevez scattered three hits and struck out two Stags in a pair of scoreless innings in game one.
- In the nightcap, Simone recorded his first three-hit game of the season. He has three multi-hit games in a row. In the series, Simone went 7-for-11 with three runs scored.
- Brennan McAllister recorded his third straight two-hit game of the series. Against Fairfield over the weekend he went 6-for-10. It was also his fourth multi-hit game of the year.
- In relief, CJ Hirschy and Jordan Silverman combined to work four and a third scoreless innings of relief.
- CJ Hirschy tossed three and a third scoreless innings on Sunday. He struck out two hitters and scattered three hits.
- Jordan Silverman worked a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Broncs return to action on Tuesday, April 11 with a home non-conference clash against Wagner that is slated to begin at 3:00 pm. The Broncs and Seahawks will meet at Sonny Pittaro Field for the second year in a row.

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