Offense wakes up in final game of weekend series: Hunt earns 3rd win of the season in stellar outing

By Andrew Helwig

Sports Reporter

As Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play begins to wind down, the Griffs’ baseball team had a weekend series with the Rider Broncs. The pitching staff, who had trouble holding down the lead in the recent games, had stepped up in this game to hold Rider’s offense to a minimum.

On Saturday, the Broncs had jumped out to a early 3-1 lead by the end of the third inning. On the bump for the Griffs was Josh Shepley. In his four inning outing, he allowed four runs on five hits while striking four out. The bullpen for the Griffs was able to limit Rider to one run for the remainder of the contest. Working in relief was senior Mike Elwood, who held the Broncs to one run in over two innings worked. He was followed by Michael Ginther who held the Broncs’ offense hitless in his 1.2 innings.

The starter for Rider was Nick Margevicius, and held the Griff’s bats silent until the third when they plated their first run. The RBI, which came off the bat of Liam Wilson, was only one of two the Griffs were able to muster in the ballgame. It was also the only earned run that Margevicius gave up in his 6.2 innings of work on the mound for the Broncs. The Blue and Gold managed to put together eight hits off Margevicius. He was responsible for two runs, while the Broncs’ bullpen gave up another.

Offensively, Jake Lumley, Liam Wilson, and Mark McKenna lead the way for the Griffs. McKenna and Wilson were the only Griffs who put together multi-hit games in the first half of the twin bill against Rider. However, nobody for the Griffs reached base via the walk in the first game, a category the Griffs are atop the MAAC in. However that offense was not enough as Rider took the first game with a 5-3 victory. Shepley was dealt the loss and falls to 1-4 on the season. Margevicius with the win improves to 3-4.

In the second game of the doubleheader, freshman Nolan Hunt was sent to the mound for the Griffs. A game in which offense was far more uncommon than in the game the two teams had just played there were a total of five hits. In the seven inning game, the only run was scored in the top of the 7th as the Broncs committed a total of 3 errors in the game. Neither pitching staff in the game gave up an earned run.

Hunt went a full six innings in the start, when Coach McRae turned the game over to the bullpen. Iannick Remillard pitched the final inning for the Griffs. He did not allow a single batter to reach base. He also struck out two of the three batters he faced to earn the save. The lone run of the game was scored by Adam Tricarico in the top of the 7th via error. In an otherwise solid game for the Broncs’ pitcher Vincenzo Aiello, he was still credited with the loss. Aiello went the full seven innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven. Hunt was given the win, he improved to 3-0 on the season, and Remillard picked up his ninth save of the season as the two combine for the two-hit shutout.

The series came down to a Sunday rubber match. The Griffs bats came alive in the final game, exploding for a total of 15 runs. That is the most the offense has produced since they rattled off 16 in a victory over Siena on April 2nd.  Anthony Massicci, who has been a bright spot on offense all season, had three hits and a three RBI’s in the game. Ryan Stekl did the same with a pair of RBI’s, while Jake Lumley did the same. The team had a total of 20 hits in the game. Despite another three Rider errors, all of the Griffs’ runs were driven in off hits. Four of the runs scored in the first inning and the Griffs never looked back. They held the Broncs’ scoreless until the 6th inning when they put up a single run. However, by then the deficit was at 12 for Rider.

On the mound Coach McRae kept the workload evenly distributed. None of the pitchers gave up more than four hits or a single run. Starter Zachary Sloan lead the pitchers in the game with four strikeouts. Aaron Casper was however credited with the win during his three innings of work and moves to a team best 4-0, the second pitcher for the Griffs with four wins, joining Tyler Smith. After the series win, the Griffs move to an even 18-18 overall, but boast an 8-4 MAAC record.

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