Rutgers takes on struggling Villanova squad in midweek road matchup
After a lackluster performance against now-No. 25 Maryland, the Rutgers baseball team looks to get back on track with a quick road trip to Villanova in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania to face the Wildcats.
The Scarlet Knights (10-17, 0-3) did not start conference play the way they would have liked, getting swept at the hands of Maryland at Bainton Field over the weekend and leaving a sour taste in their mouths. Rutgers is now 2-4 at home — only two losses away from matching its home loss total all of last year when it went 16-6 in front of the home crowd.
Luckily for the Knights, they head to Villanova for a midweek game, hopefully to cleanse their palates. Rutgers’ former Big East rival, the Wildcats (3-15), have struggled mightily to begin their 2017 campaign with their most recent struggles coming from a sweep at the hands of Wofford.
History bodes well for the Knights as they have won seven of the last eight meetings between the two programs. Although, Villanova did take one of two last year with a 7-2 win in Pennsylvania after blowing the lead in the late innings and losing 6-4 in the first matchup. Rutgers narrowly leads the all-time series 39-38, dating back to 1948.
Pitching probables for both teams have not yet been announced, but it’s hard to imagine head coach Joe Litterio not going to his senior right hander Christian Campbell (2-1, 4.78 ERA) even after a poor outing his last time out, simply because he doesn’t have many other options. Aside from his last start against Monmouth, Campbell has been pitching relatively well this season.
The two clubs are set to meet again at Bainton Field on April 25 for the rematch. Rutgers hopes that game will be for the season sweep against its former rival.
After Villanova, the Knights will come back home just for the night before heading out to Minnesota on Thursday to gear up for another weekend series away from home and their second in-conference series. The Gophers (18-8, 6-0) have yet to lose a conference game and currently sit atop the Big Ten.
For update on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.