St. Peter's had some happy moments today, but the loss streak continues.

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CRUD! St. Peter’s Drops Pair To Rider

At The Ballpark

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — I decided to do something different today. I went on a hunch, I admit it. 

When I decided this would be a good weekend to go to the Big Apple and take in some college baseball, the Creighton-St. John’s series jumped off the page at me. Had to see one of those. But when it came to what I wanted to do for the Saturday of games?… I had no idea. 

But then, as I was putting my Off The Top Of My Head together I saw what I wanted to catch: St. Peter’s. I’d been writing about the Peacocks for a few weeks now, hoping they would finally purge that winless record. I saw they were playing a three-game set at Rider, a good hour away from Manhattan in my birth state of New Jersey. 

Aha! That was it. I was hoping to see history. St. Peter’s has been winless since May of 2016. They lost the last game of that season, then went 0-38 last year and entered this weekend at 0-25. but they were playing the Broncs, who had an RPI of No. 286. SPU was No. 294. It would be completely plausible to see the ‘Cocks end the skid this weekend against the last team they owned a win over. 

So off to Lawrenceville I drove today in my hoopty of a rent-a-lemon. 

… only to see the Peacocks come up snake eyes in a pair of games. 

The streak continues at 66 losses after today. Arrrrrrgh!

WHAT I SAW AT SONNY PITTARO FIELD
St. Peter’s put up a fight in the early innings of both games, gallantly playing toe to toe with the Broncs. But ultimately, their pitching just could not maintain and they dropped both ends of a doubleheader… and perhaps their best chance at getting a W this year. Bummer.

GAME ONE
The Peacocks rode their best arm as much as they could, but their offense couldn’t come through.

LINESCORE:
St. Peters – 001 100 0 – 2  5  2

Rider…… – 021 420 x – 9  12 0

PITCHING
WP: CJ Hirschy, 2-1
LP: Willie Krajnik, 0-4
Save: None

TOP HITTERS.
Peacocks: 
– Tom Campo, 1-for-3, RBI double
– Nick Ciocco, 1-for-3, RBI single

Broncs: 
– Tyler Stockwell, 2-for-2, RBI double, walk
– Harrison McClure, 2-for-3, HR, 3RBI, stolen base

Willie Krajnic threw over 100 pitches in his 5.0 innings of work in game one but couldn’t hold the Broncs from busting.

HOW IT WENT DOWN: 
It all started off innocuously enough with the Peacocks hanging right in there with the homestanding Broncs. In fact, at the halfway point of the game it was a 3-2 ball game. One of those “either way” kind of things. I was geeked. I could just picture the celebration that would take place if STP could’ve hung in there and pulled out a late-inning win.

The Broncs posted a pair of runs to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Tyler Stockwell’s one-out double, which was the first time that a Rider batter really caught up to a Willie Krajnik pitch. Harrison McClure followed that up with a single which allowed Stockwell to jog home. McClure then stole both second base and third base on consecutive pitches. 

McClure was knocked in by Christian Esteves to make it 2-0. But the Peacocks came fighting back by posting single runs in both the top of the third and top of the fourth innings. Nick Ciocco and Tom Campo supplied a run-scoring single and double respectively. That made this one a game. The 64-game losing streak dangled in the balance. 

Proud as a Peacock: Tom Campo’s RBI double pulled STP within a run at 3-2.

Ack, but it didn’t last. 

Rider would score four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and that’d be all she wrote. The big blow was a two-run single by leadoff man Joe Simone. Oddly, St. Pete’s head coach Danny Ramirez decided to stick with Krajnick for most of the game (my guess is because they have few options, especially with a double-header to play.) and he just couldn’t lock things down. The poor dude.

The Broncs added a two-run home run from McClure to put things way out of hand at 9-2 after the end of the fifth frame. From there the Peacock players seemed to droop their shoulders just a little bit more. 

Harrison McClure blasts this ball beyond the playing field, putting the finishing touches on Game One’s 9-2 score.

GAME TWO
Unfortunately, more of the same. Only this time with more scoring. 

LINESCORE:
St. Peters – 050 200 000 – 7  12  1
Rider…… – 532 031 21x – 17  21  1

PITCHING
WP: Joe Papeo, 2-5
LP: Anthony Ramos, 0-4
Save: Jordan Silverman, 2

TOP HITTERS.
Peacocks: 
– Angel Perez, 3-for-5
– Peter Ferony, 2-for-4, RBI

Broncs: 
– Riley Mihalik, 4-for-4, 6RBI, HR
– Harrison McClure, 3-for-5, 3RBI
– Kyle Johnson, 3-for-6, 4 runs scored.

Vincent Vitacco had a rough start to game two. He’ll see better days ahead.

HOW IT WENT DOWN: 
This third game was moved from Sunday due to expected bad weather. In other words, as beautiful and warm as it was for today’s games, the temperatures are expected to drop to a high of 45 on Sunday with rain all dang day. 

And believe me, this certainly felt like a Sunday game. Long. Lots of runs. Lots of walks. Pitchers just plain struggling, even from the word go. At one point in the bottom of the fifth inning, a player’s parent in the stands turned to another and said, “This game is dragging, isn’t it?” The other responded, “Yep. We’re two and a half hours in and we’ve still got over a third of the game left to play.”

The lady responded the same way we all did, “Ugh.”

Well the game probably felt like it flew by for the Broncs since time flies when you’re having fun, right? Early in the game when I was standing next to the Rider dugout one of the assistant coaches said to the bench, “These guys don’t have a bullpen, so take a lot of pitches up there.” They listened. Well at least to the “they don’t have a bullpen” part. 

Rider posted crooked numbers in each of the first three innings, including a five-run first inning that was powered by cleanup hitter Riley Mihalick’s two-run no-doubter that easily cleared the fence in the 405 part of the field. 

But I’ll hand it to the Peacocks, they didn’t crumble after that big five-spot. In fact, head coach Danny Ramirez immediately gathered his team and gave them a pep talk in front of the SPU dugout. Whatever he said, it worked. The Peacocks immediately sliced a trio of singles to start the inning in the first 10 pitches of the frame. They would go on to plate five runs as well to tie the game up at a nickel each. 

Head coach Danny Ramirez (with the shades on) gets his troops together after giving up five runs in the first inning to Rider and his team responded with five runs of their own to tie the game the next inning.

But the problem with the Peacocks pitching is, it doesn’t look all that deep. And you would probably guess that by their record, of course. The Broncs just kept on swinging and smiling. They scored three runs in the second, two of them on Harrison McClure’s single, then posted two more runs in the third, which came on Mihalik’s single. 

Yes, you’re seeing a lot from this Mihalik dude here, mainly because the cleanup man lived up to his cleanup duties. In all Mihalik went 4-for-4 with a walk and six RBI in the second game. For the weekend he was 7-for-11 with 11 RBI and three home runs. My Gawd. I hope he gets MAAC Player of the Week. Granted, it came against the hapless Peacocks, but still.

Go Big Red! Sweet-swinging Riley Mihalik provided the power all weekend long for the Broncs.

Harrison McClure posted some good numbers as well going 5-for-8 with six RBI in today’s doubleheader. Tyler Stockwell added a four-hit day to the ledger, scoring four times in the process. 

For the two games Rider scored in 11 of the 14 innings they batted and never trailed in the two games. 

Unfortunately, the streak goes on.

NOTES 
So here are the updated stats on St. Peters and their losing streak… 
– Now 0-for-66 since May 20th of 2016.
– Now 0-27 on this season, including 0-12 in MAAC play
– Of their 27 losses this year, 19 have seen their opponents score double digits.
– Seven of those 19 losses have seen their opponents score 17 runs or more.
– In their 66 straight losses, STP has held its opponents to less than five runs just six times.

PICS
Additional images from today’s games. 

Those are NOT bosoms. Pete Soporowski got the start in game one but was roughed up a little and settled for a no-decision.

 

St. Peter’s didn’t commit a ton of errors, but there were definitely times where they kicked the ball around a little bit more than they should.

 

St. Pete’s Angel Perez went three-for-four in today’s second game to pace the Peacocks at the dish.

 

Rider leadoff man Joe Simone went 2-for-4 and 3-for-4 in the two games, including hitting for the “short cycle” in game two.

 

For a cash-strapped program, I really liked the Peacocks’ unis. Not sure I dug the short pants look that Hunter Mason was sporting, but whatevs.

 

Oh mercy. This St. Peter’s “fan” was NOT happy. He was openly talking (or nearly yelling) about how bad the team was to whoever was within earshot. “They can’t pitch. They can’t hit. They can’t catch. The coaching is terrible. I don’t know why they’re a Division I team.” Keep it classy old codger.

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