Rutgers scores 28 runs, most in program history, to blast past Lafayette
What a difference a week can make.
After being mired in a four-game losing streak with seemingly nothing clicking, the Rutgers baseball team came out firing on all cylinders on a picture perfect Tuesday afternoon against Lafayette.
The Scarlet Knights (11-18, 0-3) came into the game ice cold — scoring 6 total runs in their last four games. With the weather in the mid 80s, they scored 28 — in six different innings. Rutgers went on to win by a football score of 28-4.
During the hit parade, every starting player recorded a hit with seven starters recording at least two knocks. Leading the offensive unit — as he has done all season — was senior Mike Carter who started the game as the designated hitter. He lived up to that title as he went 5-for-5 including a double and his second home run on the season and of his career. Carter, who batted leadoff, also added three runs scored and three runs batted in (RBIs) on the day.
Following closely behind, literally, were 2-3-4 in the order — sophomore centerfielder Jawuan Harris, sophomore left fielder Mike Martinez and senior right fielder Tom Marcinczyk. Martinez and Marcinczyk both went yard, with Marcinczyk going deep twice. He now owns 18 long balls for his career. The top four batters in the lineup went 11-for-17, tallying nearly half of the 24 hits on the day.
But the Knights’ offense didn’t stop there. Freshman shortstop Kevin Welsh, sophomore catcher Nick Matera and sophomore second baseman Carmen Sclafani — 7-8-9 in the lineup — each had at least two hits. Along with his two hits, Welsh walked three times and scored four runs. Sclafani added a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored while Matera connected on two homers and led the team with five RBIs.
The four touchdowns — equating to 28 runs — are believed to be the most scored in program history, eclipsing the previous record of 27 against Fairleigh Dickinson in 2004. The 24 hits are the most tallied since 2010.
On the pitching side, junior right-hander John O’Reilly (2-5) notched his second win on the season despite only going three innings due to a pitch limit — he did not allow an earned run. O’Reilly will likely be available to piggyback off someone’s start over the weekend if they need it, which explains the pitch limit.
Games like these help pad the stats. Individually, Carter added to his Big Ten lead in batting average and now sits at a cool .409 average. Marcinczyk is closing in on Harris’s team-lead in home runs at seven and now has six on the season. As a team, the Knights upped their average to .268 and now sit in sixth in that department in the conference.
Rutgers hopes it has more left in the tank as it welcomes Purdue for a three-game weekend series at Bainton Field.
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