Knights drop Big East series
It was sophomore outfielder Vinny Zarrillo’s drive to right field in the bottom of the seventh that summed up how the Rutgers baseball team was doing against Seton Hall lefthander Greg Terhune.
It was a deep hit, but found its way into outfielder Scott Kalamar’s glove on the warning track.
The bad luck was prevalent during Terhune’s one-hitter against the Scarlet Knights in yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Pirates at Bainton Field.
Terhune allowed his first hit of the game in the bottom of the eighth, as senior righthander Charlie Law collected an RBI single.
The Knights (14-14, 6-3) managed two more runs in the bottom of the ninth against Brian Gilbert, but Mike Genovese corralled a hit by Zarrillo to end the game.
But Rutgers could not figure out how to get to the lefty before that.
“It was a very frustrating game,” Zarrillo said. “We hit a lot of balls hard and I think we should have gotten to him earlier. It just really didn’t work in our favor. ... He was keeping a lot of guys off-balance.”
The Knights were effective in putting the ball in play— their five strikeouts and three walks dictate that — but they could not get their hits to steer away from the Pirates defense.
“I thought we should have done a better job with the bat,” said head coach Fred Hill. “We did hit some balls on the nose but they weren’t falling.”
Unlike the Knights, Seton Hall (15-14, 5-4) was successful at the plate, as Law was pulled in the top of the seventh with no outs for senior lefthander Nathaniel Row.
Roe could not stop the Pirates, as a bloop single by third baseman Chris Seldon brought in a run. On the same play, Vinny Zarrillo’s throw into third got away from freshman shortstop Matt Tietz, and Zach Granite scooted home for a 4-0 lead. Scott Kalamar than drove in Sheldon as Row only recorded one out before he was taken out for freshman lefthander Howie Brey.
Law lasted six innings and allowed four runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
“I thought he did a pretty good job,” Hill said. “He threw a lot of pitches and he was behind, which hurt him a little bit. He competes and that’s all you can ask him to do.”
Granite broke up the stalemate in the top of the fifth inning, when he drove in designated hitter Jon Beaubien on a Law fastball to make it a 1-0 lead. It was only Law’s third hit allowed in the game to that point.
Law appeared rattled after that play, as he plunked Seldon in the head on the next at bat and tossed a wild pitch after that, which allowed Granite to score to make it 2-0.
Law let Seton Hall load the bases in the first, but he fielded a lined grounder off the bat of second baseman Mike Genovese. He threw home for the second out and Melillo completed the double with a throw to first.
The loss secured Rutgers’ first Big East series loss this season, as the Knights defeated Seton Hall in the second game Saturday, 7-5.
In a back and forth game, senior righthander Tyler Gebler went five and two thirds innings for his third win of the season.
But Gebler did so without his best stuff.
“I kept us in it, but I didn’t really have a lot of my pitches,” Gebler said. “I didn’t have my cutter. My changeup was kind of flat. I just threw my fastball a lot. They’re not a bad-hitting team — better than what I expected. They just hit every mistake I made.”
Senior left hander Rob Corsi finished out the game and allowed three hits and one earned run. He was able to get the Pirates to ground out, picking up his fourth save of the season and his second in as many appearances.
“Corsi did a hell of a job. That’s the best he’s pitched all year,” Hill said. “It was good to see that out of him.”
Junior outfielder Brian O’Grady and junior second baseman Nick Favatella both homered to provide Rutgers with its share of clutch runs, while Law went 1-for-3 with three RBI.
The Knights dropped their first game to the Pirates on Friday, 15-1.
Rutgers is still 6-3 against Big East opponents, and O’Grady sees that as a reason for the team to keep its head up despite the series loss to the Pirates.
“We have a great ball club when we put everything together,” O’Grady said. “I think we can play with anyone and I don’t think we are going to let this get in the way of competing.”
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