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With temperatures at first pitch hovering above 61 degrees, the Rutgers baseball team was happy yesterday to have their first game of the season at home. Deviating from their weekend pitching staff, the Scarlet Knights (5-8) sent sophomore righthander Reed Shuttle to the mound for his first start of the season against Hofstra (5-7).
Sophomore righthander Reed Shuttle follows through on one of his 62 pitches for the day en route to his first career victory for Rutgers. Shuttle pitched five innings, allowed only four hits and one earned run.
Senior shortstop Pat Sweeney batted 4-for-4 for Rutgers and added two runs and one RBI in yesterday’s home win.
When the skies finally opened up this past weekend in Piscataway and gave the Rutgers community temperatures in the 50-degree range, the Rutgers baseball team was nowhere to be found. The Scarlet Knights were in Oklahoma playing in a three-game series against the Sooners.
Junior outfielder Vinny Zarrillo went 4-for-5 in Rutgers’ game against Oklahoma on Sunday. Zarrillo said the Knights will look to continue their strong hitting this season in their first home game of the year.
Junior right hander Jon Young was assigned to the bullpen as the team’s closer. Young tallied three saves so far this season.
The Rutgers baseball team’s season has been littered with cancellations, postponements, lost innings and games away from Bainton Field in Piscataway. The Scarlet Knights (3-6) will yet again deal with some more of those issues this weekend as they travel to face Oklahoma (8-4). To start, the Sooners scratched the Saturday game because of inclement weather to mark the fourth doubleheader the Knights have competed in this season.
Senior first baseman Brian O’Grady was named Player of Week after leading the AAC in batting average and slugging.
With no precipitation in the forecast, temperatures hovering around 35 degrees and plowed snow looming in the background, it is difficult to imagine playing baseball in this sort of weather at Bainton Field. The opportunity to play the first home game of the season was not easily decided for the Rutgers baseball team. The Scarlet Knights (3-6) postponed their 3 p.m. game today against Seton Hall (7-2).
Senior infielder Pat Sweeney said that Rutgers will use the extra practice time after the postponed game to get better this week.
The Rutgers baseball team’s approach to its weekend series against Old Dominion was to bring balance to an already impressive hitting team and back it up with an effective pitching staff. That balance was the key to success against the Monarchs, said head coach Joe Litterio.
Senior first baseman Brian O’Grady went 7-for-12 at the plate against Old Dominion this weekend and scored five runs for the Knights.
With only six games under the Rutgers baseball team’s belt, it is tough to gauge what sort of balance the Scarlet Knights have between their offense, defense and pitching. The Knights have used all week training to continue to find that balance entering their three-game series this weekend against Old Dominion (6-3). In last weekend’s doubleheader at Jacksonville, Rutgers won both games by a margin of 16-4.
Head coach Joe Litterio said having a balance between hitting and pitching is vital to Rutgers’ success this weekend.
When one thinks about baseball, several things come to mind. Most often, when they look past the bats and balls, they closely associate their idea of baseball with the diamond that teams play on. Even more strictly, they associate baseball with the spring weather and the dirt on the playing field.Early on in the season, the Rutgers baseball team has no trace of practicing outside, no dirt on its cleats quite yet and no farmer’s tan associated with training outside for long hours of the day.
Senior first baseman Brian O’Grady is second on Rutgers in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in two weekend series.
Sitting in the visitor’s dugout Sunday in Jacksonville, waiting for the umpire’s ruling on whether the Rutgers baseball team’s game would be cancelled due to a torrential downpour was probably the low point of the weekend for head coach Joe Litterio. But sitting there gave him a chance to review the hectic and rewarding previous four days for the Scarlet Knights.
Sophomore lefthander Howie Brey tossed six scoreless innings against Jacksonville on Saturday. Brey earned his first win of the season as the ace of the staff.
Junior righthander Jon Young pitched three innings of relief in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, earning his first save of the season. Young pitched as a starter last week but is now in the bullpen.
Fred Hill ends his career as all-time winningest coach in program history for Rutgers baseball team with 941 victories.