Rider scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning and held off a rally from the Youngstown State baseball team in the bottom half to beat the Penguins 7-5 on Saturday at Eastwood Field.
The Penguins' four seniors in the lineup each had hits in their final collegiate games, and three seniors made appearances on the mound for YSU. Youngstown State finishes the 2017 season, its first under head coach Dan Bertolini, with a 15-40 record. Rider improves to 23-26-1 as it advances to the MAAC Tournament.
Youngstown State never led in the contest, but Rider's first three leads were all matched by the Penguins. Both teams scored once in the first, once in the third and twice in the sixth. The Broncs went ahead 7-4 with their three runs in the top of the ninth, and YSU had the tying run at the plate twice in the bottom of the inning before falling.
Andrew Kendrick increased his school record for home runs in a season to 17 with a solo blast in the third as part of a three hit day. The junior first baseman hit five more home runs than any other Penguin has had in a season. Trey Bridis added his eighth home run, and Anthony Rohan, Lorenzo Arcuri and Web Charles each had two hits for Youngstown State.
Rider played 14 different position players, and 11 of them had hits.
The Broncs scored an unearned run in the first inning as Joe Simone led off with a double past a diving Rohan in left field, advanced on a passed ball and scored on Riley Mihalik's sacrifice fly. YSU evened the score with two outs in the bottom of the inning as Arcuri singled and scored on Kendrick's bloop double.
Simone walked to start the third and scored on a double play to put the Broncs up 2-1, but Kendrick's no-doubt home run over the second wall in left field with two outs in the bottom of the inning tied the score again.
Lee Lipinski's solo homer to start the top of the sixth gave Rider a 3-2 lead, and Mike Volaski doubled and scored to up the margin to two. That was erased again as Nico Padovan hit a one-out single, and Bridis followed with a homer to left center.
YSU stranded two runners in the eighth, and a leadoff double in Rider's ninth kickstarted its three-run inning. Jake Bender started with the double to center, and he scored two batters later on Brian Uliana's double inside the first base bag with YSU's infield playing in. Uliana scored on a ground out that made the score 6-4, and Tyler Kaiser's two-out single plated Mihalik with an insurance run.
Rohan hit a one-out double in his final at bat to start the offense in the bottom of the ninth, and Alex Larivee followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Rohan scored on a sacrifice fly by Arcuri to deep center, and Kendrick flew out to center to end the game.
Senior Kevin Yarabinec pitched the first six innings for YSU and was charged with three earned runs on seven hits. Senior Ryan Smith and Joel Hake combined to pitch a scoreless seventh inning, and Joe King pitched the final two innings for the Penguins.