Rider Rallies to 5-3 Victory over Lafayette
March 5, 2013
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - A four-run eighth inning helped Rider rally to a 5-3 victory over Lafayette on Tuesday afternoon at Sonny Pittaro Field.
Leading 3-2 after a sacrifice fly pulled Rider (6-1) within one, Kevin Casey replaced Ryan Callanan on the hill with two outs and runners on second and third. Casey quickly put Rider's Mike Parsons in an 0-2 hole and struck him out swinging, but the wild pitch allowed Parsons to reach base and the runner from third to score, tying the game at 3-3.
Parsons stole second before a walk loaded the bases and Ian Lindsay singled home two runs to give Rider a 5-3 advantage heading into the ninth inning. Lafayette (0-7) managed a hit against Rider closer Zach Mawson, but was unable to do any further damage and ultimately fell by two in the 5-3 final.
Following a scoreless first inning in which each pitcher worked around two-out walks, Lafayette put a runner in scoring position in the top of the second. Alex Osuchowski started the frame with a leadoff walk and then moved up on bunt, but Rider starter Eric Thomas stranded him on second with a strikeout and a flyout.
With one out in the visitors half of the third inning, Andrew Santomauro laced 3-2 pitch into left field for a double and then stole third. A four-pitch walk to Andrew Ruck placed runners on the corners for Casey, who hit a fly ball to center to score Santomauro and give Lafayette a 1-0 lead. Thomas' day was finished after the third and he allowed one run on one hit, while walking four and striking out three.
Junior Connor Ortolf let up a walk and two singles to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the third, but he eluded trouble in the inning by getting Adam Wayman to ground into a double play and preserve the 1-0 lead.
The Leopards plated another run with a sac fly for the second straight inning, this time off the bat of Andrew Landolfi. The freshman shortstop lifted a ball to left against Rider reliever Kyle Kennett to score Osuchowski, who started the inning with a free pass and moved to third following a single from Brad Hopek and a sacrifice bunt by Parker Hills. Santomauro then walked to load the bases, but Ruck was retired by Chris Taylor to end the threat. Kennett walked three and allowed one run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning, before Taylor escaped the jam.
Greg Fazio's solo shot cut Rider's deficit in half (2-1) in the bottom of the fourth, before Ortolf got two flyouts to left to bring Lafayette to the plate.
Each team went quietly in the fifth, which completed Ortolf's first start of the season. The lefty earned a no-decision and held Rider to three hits, walked three and struck out two with the only blemish being the solo homer he surrendered to Fazio.
Freshman Mitch Leeds was handed the ball out of the pen and the right-hander delivered in the bottom of the sixth, striking out the side to complete the frame after a two-out walk to Fazio. Holding onto a 2-1 advantage in the seventh, Leeds allowed a base on balls and a single, but induced a groundout to end the inning and strand runners on first and third.
Senior Scott Kelleher went deep in the eighth inning to pad Lafayette's lead (3-1), before Rider's four-run eighth off the combination of Robert Tatum (2 ER, 0.1 IP), Ryan Callanan (loss, 1 ER, 0+ IP) and Casey (1 ER, 0.2 IP).
Lafayette returns to the diamond on Saturday for a four-game weekend series against Maryland Eastern Shore. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader from Princess Anne, Md. is set for Noon.