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ATHENS, GA (March 10, 2017)– In a homecoming of sorts, junior Harrison McClure (Atlanta, GA/South Florida StateNorth Atlanta) went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored to lead the visiting Rider University baseball team past the University of Georgia, 11-4, on Friday evening at Foley Field. The Broncs (4-5) have now won four of their last five games, while the Bulldogs (6-9) suffered their third loss at home in their last four contests.
Rider got off to a quick start, plating six runs on seven hits in the top of the first. During the frame, the first seven Broncs to step to the plate reached base safely. In the first, junior Jake Bender (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) and McClure both knocked RBI doubles and senior Mike Volaski (Oxnard, CA/Ventura CC/Oxnard) had a two-run single to left field. Rider leadoff hitter Kyle Johnson (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) capped the scoring in the stanza with a two-run single to center.
In the second, Rider added a pair of runs to push their lead to eight at 8-0 thanks to a pair of Bulldog errors. The Broncs added two more insurance runs in the fourth inning thanks to a McClure RBI double to right and a triple to center by Volaski that brought McClure charging home. Rider capped its scoring on the day as McClure smacked a solo homer to center in the sixth.
On the mound, Pete Soporowski (South Amboy, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial) tossed six innings and allowed three earned runs to pick up his first collegiate win. In just his second start as a Bronc, he struck out five batters and scattered seven hits. In relief, three Rider pitchers held Georgia scoreless over the final three innings as Rider picked up the triumph.
NOTES & QUOTES
“This is a great win for us,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said. “We played a pretty good ballgame against an SEC school. It’s nice to come down here and compete. We got good innings from our bullpen and we played good defense.”
“Pete was big for us,” Davis added. “He came out and got through the first and second without giving up any runs and he started to settle in. We knew that Pete had the ability and he wasn’t intimidated tonight.”
- McClure’s homer was his second of the season. He was also a triple shy of the cycle.
- Johnson had a leadoff hit for the second game in a row and the third time this season. He started the game with a triple. It was his first extra-base hit of the season and of his career.
- The 11 hits and 14 runs were both season-highs for the Broncs. The 11-run outburst is the most for Rider since topping Siena, 20-7, last April. Rider had seven extra-base hits in the game.
- Bronc pitchers struck out a season-high nine batters. The previous high had been eight set last time out against Delaware.
- In one inning of relief, Dylan Simcik allowed just one hit and struck out two hitters. Over the final two innings, Josh Sharik and Mike Diorio both worked scoreless frames. The only batters to reach base in the eighth and ninth were hit by pitches.
The Broncs face Georgia tomorrow, Saturday, March 11, with game two of a three-game set. Action is set to get underway at 1:00 pm with senior Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, OH/Saint Ignatius) toeing the rubber for Rider.