JERSEY CITY, N.J. - John Leiter (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) pitched six-strong innings and Saint Peter's used timely hitting and defense to defeat Rider 6-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) baseball action on Sunday and complete the three-game sweep.
Leiter allowed one unearned run on for hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work to earn his two win of the season to help the squad win its fifth-straight conference game.
Chris Hugg (Ironia, N.J./Randolph) posted two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Peacocks (10-21, 5-6 MAAC) while Vinny Maietta (Franklin Square, N.Y./St. Mary's) added three hits and an RBI and Ariel Ramirez (San Domingo, Dominican Republic/Babeque) had three hits and a run scored. Jim Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) registered two hits and an RBI and Jon Kristoffersen (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township) added a hit, a run scored and two RBIs in the winning effort.
Justin Thomas powered the Broncs (9-20, 3-4 MAAC) with a hit and a run scored while Kurt Sowa, the 2013 MAAC Pitcher of the Year, took the loss after along two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
Saint Peter's grabbed the early lead and then used some great defense to keep Rider from tying the game before putting the game away with four runs in the eighth to complete the three-game sweep of the defending regular season champions.
Hugg doubled on a deep drive to left center than came around to score on Maietta's RBI single to right field in the second to give the Peacocks a quick 1-0 lead.
Hugg was the catalyst of another run in the fourth with he walked with one out, stole second and touched home on Smith's run-scoring double to left center for a 2-0 edge.
The Broncs got on the board with an unearned run to cut the deficit in half. Thomas singled down the left field line and came around to score on a throwing error with the bases loaded. Leiter then got out of a bases loaded one out jam with a 6-4-3 double play to keep the lead for Saint Peter's.
The Rider eighth was full of web gems for the Peacocks. Thomas hit a soft pop up toward second base and Kristoffersen dove and caught the ball along with a face full of dirt. After a flyout to center, Mike Parsons tried to reach on a bunt, but popped the ball up in the air and Smith laid out with his catchers gear to snag the sure fire bunt single to keep it a one-run game.
The Peacocks scored four insurance runs in the eighth to seal a 6-1 win. Zach Rawson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) reached on a fielder's choice before Ramirez singled through the left side. After the two runners moved up on a wild pitch, Kristoffersen smacked a ground back up through the box to score both runners to increase the lead to four runs. The sophomore then moved to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on Hugg's RBI single to right field to seal the victory.
After losing its first six conference games, the Peacocks have won five-straight conference games to get back in the thick of the MAAC postseason race.
Saint Peter's went 5-1 against Rider and Monmouth in the conference battle of the Garden State teams and the Hourglass Rivalry. The Peacocks are 7-2 against teams from the state of New Jersey this season.
Saint Peter's returns to action on Tuesday at Wagner. Game time is 3 p.m.