DOVER, DE—The Broncs won a slugfest at Delaware State Wednesday for their second win in a row and fourth in last eight games. “That’s a good thing,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We’ll go into the conference games this weekend feeling a little better about ourselves.”
Rider (5-17) banged out 11 hits, three from sophomore Jake Bender (Ellicot, Md./Marriotts Ridge), who also scored twice. “Bender hit the ball on the nose a lot,” Davis said. Bender hit an RBI double in the fourth inning and scored to give Rider a 5-4 lead.
Rider sophomore Christian Estevez (River Edge, NJ/River Dell) hit a three-run double in a five-run sixth inning that gave Rider an 11-6 lead. “That was a big hit,” Davis said.
Junior Mike Volaski (Oxnard, CA/Oxnard) had two doubles and two RBI and scored twice. “He’s hitting the ball,” Davis said. “He’s coming around.” His two-run double in the third inning cut the lead to 4-3. In the fifth inning he doubled and scored on a wild pitch to give Rider a 6-5 lead.
Junior Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) had two hits and three RBI. “Tyler had a big hit to knock in two,” Davis said.
Delaware State (4-19) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and tied the score at 5-5 in the fourth and 6-6 in the fifth. “We got off to a rough start,” Davis said. “After that we had to rely on some pitchers to get us to the end, and they did.”
Rider junior Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian) pitched 2.1 hitless, scoreless innings of relief. “He threw well,” Davis said of Sharik’s eighth appearance of the season. Sharik pitched in a Rider-record 33 games last year.
Rider’s sixth and final pitcher of the game was sophomore Andrew Tumbelty(Westampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley), who struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit. “Tumbelty probably threw the best of the six today,” Davis said.
It was Tumbelty’s first appearance on the mound for Rider. “He said he wanted to pitch,” Davis said. “He threw a little bit in high school. I’m not sure if the ninth inning is the best time to make your debut but now we have a better idea of what he can do. He came in and threw strikes. He threw hard. He was aggressive. I thought he threw well.”
Tumbelty has played in five games this year at third base and nine games at Rider and is a career .250 hitter. “He’s a team player and wants to help the team,” Davis said.
Del State remains winless (0-5) at home this year.
The Broncs defeated Del State 5-1 last season at Rider in the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
Rider travels to Fairfield for a three-game MAAC series this weekend, beginning with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 2.