LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J.- Solid pitching led the Peacocks to a split in Saturday's doubleheader against the current second place team, Rider University, in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
Saint Peter's won the first contest by a score of 4-2 and dropped the second, 3-0. The Peacocks are now 13-21, 6-1 MAAC on the year and Rider sits at 22-15, 8-3 MAAC.
Eric Mozeika (Secaucus, N.J./High Tech) started game one on the mound for the Peacocks and limited the Broncs to just two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out five. It would be freshman right-hander Jeffrey Miller (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South) however who notched his first career victory, pitching a scoreless four innings in relief and scattering three hits.
Matt Mancini (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) and Chris Grimes (Iselin, N.J./JFK-Iselin) both finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Grimes added an RBI. Brian Schroeder went 1-for-3 and scored a run.
Mancini went a combined 4-for-7 in both games.
The visitors trailed Rider 2-0 heading into the final two innings, as the hosts scored a single run in each of the second and fifth innings.
Saint Peter's offense would soon break through, scoring three in the eighth to take the lead. With one out, Mancini reached base on a single and moved to third on a Rider error. Sophmore Nicholas Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) followed up with a double to score Mancini and chase Rider's starting pitcher Tyler Smith out of the game. Two batters later and with two outs, senior Pat Farrel (Jersey City, N.J./Marist) singled to right field to bring home Grimes who received the base-on-balls (2-0). James Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) proceeded to walk to load the bases, before Jon Kristoffersen (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township High School) also walked to force in the third run of the inning.
Grimes drove in the final run of the game in the ninth on basehit to right to score Matt Speckmann who got on via an error.
Rider committed three errors in the contest, and Saint Peter's made just one. The Peacocks out-hit the hosts, 9-6.
Ian Lindsay led Rider in the loss at 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Senior right-hander Mathew Yuhas (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Boro) contributed a quality start in game two, going all the way and giving up just three earned runs on seven hits and a walk, but it wasn't enough as the Peacocks managed just four hits total.
Mancini recorded half of the team's hits, going 2-for-3. Henriquez and James Spadacinni (Butler, N.J./Butler High School) recorded a hit a piece to round out the offense.
The Broncs scored all three runs in the first. With one out, Eric Strano would get on after being hit by a pitch and a bunt single by Jerry Mulderig put runners on first and second. A single up the middle by Adam Wayman allowed Strano to cross home to give the Broncs a 1-0 lead. A successful double steal moved Wayman and Mulderig into scoring position, allowing a base hit by Crescenzo to drive them both home (3-0).
Nick Crescenzo went 2-for-2 with two RBIs to lead Rider, while starting pitcher Mike Murphy pitched a complete game to garner the victory.
The teams will play the rubber game for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 12pm.