Riverdale, N.Y. (April 29, 2007)- Three Manhattan hitters connected on home runs, and the Jaspers held off a late Rider University rally to post an, 8-7, MAAC series sweeping win this afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park. With the win, Manhattan improves to 27-12, 17-0 MAAC, while the Broncs fall to 14-22, 8-9 MAAC. The Jaspers’ 17-0 start to conference play matches what is believed to be the best start to MAAC play in the history of the conference, equaling Le Moyne College’s start to MAAC play in the 2003 season, in which the Dolphins posted a 33-17, 22-3 MAAC final record.
After two scoreless frames, Manhattan got on the board in the bottom of the third. Nunzio Franzese singled to lead off the inning, and, after two strikeouts and a stolen base, came around to score on an RBI double by Rene Ruiz. Matt Rizzotti homered to right center during the ensuing at bat to make the score 3-0 in favor of the home team.
Rider responded with two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Jaspers got both runs back in the bottom of the frame on a two-run home run off the bat of Ruben Perez, scoring Dom Lombardi.
The Broncs pushed across a run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly, but once again Manhattan answered with a home run, this time a monstrous shot by Nick Derba that cleared the scoreboard in left centerfield, scoring Kevin Nieto and Rizzotti to push the lead to 8-3. The hit was the 200th of Derba's career, making the senior just the fifth member of the Jaspers' 200-hit club.
Rider made things tense for the home crowd in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with one out before a grand slam cleared the bases and brought the Broncs to within a single run, 8-7.
In the ninth, Rider had the tying run on second with two outs, but Tom Moran induced a groundout to end the threat and the game, earning his fourth save in the process.
Tom Costigan picked up his sixth win of the season against just one defeat, striking out four over 6.1 innings.
Manhattan gets back in action on Tuesday, May 1, hosting boro rival Fordham University at Van Cortlandt Park in the annual Battle of the Bronx game. The first pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.