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College Baseball Rider University 6, Fairfield University 3

press release April 1, 2016 

FAIRFIELD, CT—Rider banged out 14 hits to defeat Fairfield in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game Friday. “We swung the bat against a very good pitcher,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis.  “I thought he was very good and we barreled up a little bit against him. I felt good about that.”

It was Rider’s third win in a row. “Our focus now is to see if we can put two conference wins in a row,” Davis said. “Three in a row is nice, let’s see if we can put a fourth one together tomorrow.”

Rider junior catcher Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert) hit a grand slam home run to give Rider a 4-1 lead in the third inning. “He had a big day,” Davis said. “He carried us. He played about as good as you can play behind the plate.”

It was Lipinski’s second home run of the season and fifth of his career. “The home run was big,” Davis said. 

Lipinski added an RBI single in the seventh inning to give Rider a 5-1 lead. It was the first time since 2013 that a Bronc had five RBI in a game. Lipinski had three of Rider’s 14 hits.

Junior Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) tripled in the seventh inning, his second hit of the game, to give Rider a 6-1 lead.

Sophomore Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Ignatius) pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs, for his sixth career win. “He threw great,” Davis said.  “If we had played better defense he would probably have gotten through seven.”

Rider committed four errors.

For Rider (6-17, 1-3 MAAC) sophomore Jake Bender (Ellicot, Md./Marriotts Ridge), sophomore Brian Uliana (Bethlehem, PA/Freedom) and junior Mike Volaski (Oxnard, CA/Oxnard) also had two hits each.

“Kaiser and Bender have been pretty consistent  and Volaski has six hits in the last three games,” Davis said. 

Uliana had two hits in a game on March 4 and now has three hits in the last two games. “He played pretty good in the outfield today, had a couple of nice catches coming in on the ball, had a nice stolen base today and scored,” Davis said. “He got another chance and took advantage of it.”

Fairfield (6-14, 0-1 MAAC) scored two runs in the seventh inning on two singles, a walk and a fielder’s choice to cut the Rider lead to 6-3.

“They got a little rally going but Sharik came in and stopped it,” Davis said.

Junior Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian) pitched 1.2 innings of hitless, scoreless relief, striking out one. “He got a big strikeout with bases loaded, full count,” Davis said. “That was a big play in the game.”

Sophomore Paul Sparano (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) pitched a hitless, scoreless ninth inning for the save, his first, striking out one. “Paul was good in the ninth inning,” Davis said.  “He didn’t walk anybody and got the strikeout. He did what a closer does.”

Senior James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) singled for his 150th career hit, 46th most ever at Rider.

A single, stolen base and a two-out single gave Fairfield a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Rider had not been to Fairfield since 2012.

The Broncs swept the three-game series with Fairfield at Rider last year. Rider and Fairfield did not meet in 2014. In 2013 the Broncs won the series two games to one at Rider.

Rider and Fairfield have met 67 times since the series began in 1956 with Rider winning 45, including nine of the last 11.

The second and third games of the series will be played Saturday at 12 noon. “It would be nice to get the first one and get the series, and go from there,” Davis said. 

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