Rutgers picks up midweek matchup versus Gaels
It’s the first day of May, and the Rutgers baseball team is only three weekend series away from its inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament.
But first, the Scarlet Knights (19-22, 6-8) have to make it to that point in the season at the end of the month.
What stand in the way of Rutgers’ path to the postseason are two cancelled midweek games.
With only the top-eight teams making the AAC Championships — there are nine teams in the conference — the Knights are less than comfortable sitting in the sixth spot in the conference.
In order to warm up for this weekend’s series again Temple (12-24, 7-8) — the current fifth seed in the conference — Rutgers will now play a previously unscheduled midweek game against Iona.
The Knights have experience playing the Gaels (8-25) — Rutgers and Iona split a midweek series on April 1 and April 2 — with the home team winning its respective game.
In the Knights’ win against the Gaels, freshman outfielder Tom Marcinczyk went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. The Middlesex, N.J., native also reached on a double.
In the loss to Iona, Rutgers struggled with its pitching. Eight walks were issued and six earned runs were forfeited from Knights pitchers.
While the wins and losses to non-conference teams in the middle of the week don’t count towards the seeding in the postseason, they are pertinent in establishing momentum, which Rutgers has constantly reiterated.
With four losses in a row on their mind, the Knights hope an out-of-conference game can get them hot at the right time.