Rutgers runs rampant on Rams in Bronx
The Rutgers baseball team was on a its biggest high of the season Sunday after beating Minnesota two out of three times at Bainton Field.
After winning the first home Big Ten series of the season, the Scarlet Knights sought to improve on their offensive production by picking up a midweek game Tuesday against Wagner.
But the results in that game didn't go as planned.
Ten runs in the top of the eighth inning dismantled the Knights' pitching staff and Rutgers was tasked with picking up the pieces Wednesday against Fordham.
Behind 12 hits and a spotless defense that did not commit a single error, that's exactly what the Knights did in the Bronx.
“I’m happy mainly with the fact that we tend to learn from the day before. It was a 6-3 game with the bases loaded and today we got the big double to score all the runners," Litter said. "Yesterday, we had plenty of those opportunities, but we couldn’t make the most of them. Today, we were able to get in those scoring situations and tack on runs.”
With two huge innings offensively, Rutgers was able to collect timely hitting and advanced runners on the base paths en route to resurgence at the plate.
In the eighth inning, the Knights put the Rams away. After three straight walks loaded the bases, a double by junior infielder Chris Suseck extended the lead to 10-3.
Hitting has always been regarded as contagious, according to Suseck, and there was no exception Wednesday. In innings when Rutgers recorded multiple runs, the team also had more than one hit.
Suseck said he had to battle to a 0-2 count and kept fouling off pitches before he found a mistake.
“He came out with a fastball early in the count and I fouled it back — was kind of annoyed,” Suseck said. “But he came with an off-speed pitch with two strikes, and he left it over the plate. I got a pretty good swing on it and I took it down the line. I knew he had good stuff, so I had to swing early in the count. Hitting is really contagious, so once I got the hit, everyone else wanted to get going after me.”
While the offense was effective, the pitching proved to be the X-Factor.
Sophomore right-hander Kevin Baxter was effective, allowing only three earned runs in four innings pitched. But after 91 pitches on seven hits and four walks, Baxter was relieved by sophomore infielder Christian Campbell, making his second appearance on the mound.
Campbell made the most of his opportunity, earning his first career victory in three scoreless innings on no hits with two free passes. The everyday infielder also struck out three in his relief appearance.
“I felt pretty good warming up, and (pitching coach Casey Gaynor) told me to get ready because I was pitching today,” Campbell said. “Getting my first win in college is pretty cool and special — I don’t really know how to describe it, actually. Whatever coach tells me to that day when I get off the bus, I will do. Whether it’s in the infield, hitting or even pitching on the mound like today.”
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