POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Senior outfielder Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) smacked a three-run home run and freshman starting pitcher John Yocum (Easton, PA/Freedom) allowed just one earned run over 6.2 innings of work to lead the Rider University baseball team past Marist, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action at McCann Field. The Broncs (18-24-1, 10-11 MAAC) snapped a four-game losing streak with the come-from-behind win, while the Red Foxes (25-19, 12-6 MAAC) saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning, Kaiser sent the first pitch he saw over the fence in right center to give the Broncs a lead they would not relinquish. Marist opened the scoring in the home half of the second courtesy of a Yocum wild pitch.
Offensively, freshman leadoff hitter Kyle Johnson (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) paced the Rider attack. Johnson went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base to account for half of the team's hits on the day. Kaiser had the big blast in the contest, smacking his team-leading sixth home run of the campaign.
On the mound Yocum had one of his strongest conference starts of the year, working 6.2 innings and allowing just one earned run. The first-year hurler scattered six hits and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts. In relief, Paul Sparano (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) tossed the final 2.1 innings for the Broncs to pick up his first save of the season.
NOTES & QUOTES
“We got a great start from John Yocum,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said. “Sparano was superb for us out of the bullpen. Big hits from Johnson and Riley Mihalik set the table for Kaiser who produced with the three-run homer.”
- Johnson now leads the team with 48 hits on the season. He also has a team-high 13 stolen bases. The three-hit game was his second of the season and his first in MAAC play.
- Kaiser now leads the team with six home runs, 32 RBIs, 17 extra-base hits, 74 total bases and a .517 slugging percentage.
- Yocum's win was his third of the season and his second on the weekend in MAAC play. The eight strikeouts tied his career-best which he has done two other times this season. He ranks second on the team with 52 strikeouts. The quality start was his third of 2017. Yocum also struck out the side in the first for the guests.
- Out of the pen, Sparano earned his sixth career save. He surrendered just one hit and struck out three Red Foxes without surrendering a walk.
BRONCS BY THE NUMBERS
- Davis now has 898 career victories as a head coach.
- Five of Kaiser's six home runs have come in MAAC play this season and he is hitting a team-high .338 against league opponents. The three-run shot was the only hit of the series for Kaiser.
- Christian Estevez stole his second base of the season for Rider.
Rider returns to action on Wednesday, May 10, with a home non-conference clash against in-state foe Seton Hall. The tilt with the Pirates is slated to begin at 2:00pm from Sonny Pittaro Field.