Career start powers RU to series win
Senior righthander Charlie Law said earlier in the week that the Rutgers baseball team needed a good performance against Cincinnati.
Law controlled the Scarlet Knights’ outcome against the Bearcats yesterday, and the Mainland, N.J., native delivered a 7-2 win in arguably his best outing of the year.
Law lasted eight innings for head coach Fred Hill — a career high — and allowed just three hits in his third win this season.
“Most of the time, he was ahead of the hitters — and, when he wasn’t, he got back into rhythm,” Hill said. “He threw a good curveball today, and he had a good curve and changeup. That got him going.”
Junior righthander Charlie Lasky and senior lefthander Rob Corsi combined in the ninth to secure the win in relief. Corsi earned the save against the Bearcats (13-21, 2-10).
The win secured first place in the Big East standings for the Knights (16-16, 8-4) — a goal Law said this year’s roster made attainable.
“We needed to take this series,” Law said. “We knew this game was going to be huge. Every game in the Big East is always huge, and we did well.”
Law (3-3) lost his shutout in the top of the sixth — when a wild pitch got away from senior catcher Jeff Melillo and rightfielder Forrest Perron scooted home to make the score 6-1. Law came back to get leftfielder Justin Glass to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Law also had his defense behind him — showcased in the top of the third inning.
Freshman third baseman Matt Tietz dove for a ball to his left off the bat of second baseman Colin Hawk, fielded the ball cleanly and tossed it to second. Junior second baseman Nick Favatella then threw to first for the 5-4-3 double play.
Although Law credited his defense for his effectiveness, the Knights offense produced behind him.
Favatella was one of three Rutgers batters with two hits, and his second RBI single made the score 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth.
Rutgers scored four runs in the bottom of the first, and most of its runs in the inning can be credited to Law.
Law drove a double to the outfield with two outs and the bases loaded — as his first hit of the game cleared the bases to make it 4-0.
The game clinched Rutgers’ third series victory in the Big East this season, as the Knights continue to cement themselves atop of the conference standings.
Rutgers played a doubleheader Saturday because of inclement weather on the day prior.
The Knights split the doubleheader as they took the first game behind Rob Smorol.
The senior lefthander rebounded from his performance against Seton Hall last weekend when he allowed four runs on 10 hits in a 15-1 romp by the Pirates.
This time out, Smorol went seven and a third innings in the 6-1 victory, with only one earned run in his third win in four weeks.
In the second game, Tyler Gebler tossed a complete game, but Rutgers was not able to produce runs for the senior righthander as Cincinnati escaped with a 3-2 win.
With its win yesterday, the Knights moved back to .500 on the season with a game at Lafayette on Tuesday — a chance to get over that mark.
“Like last week and the week before, we want to win these games, especially at Monmouth, to beat a Jersey club,” Hill said. “[These games] are going to make a difference for this season.”