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Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill was interested in how his team would respond in its three games against Villanova. He can remain at ease for now — as the Scarlet Knights collected 16 hits in their 9-4 victory Saturday against the Wildcats, securing a series sweep. “We got some hits at the right time, which has been happening recently,” Hill said.
Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill said yesterday that his starting rotation’s performance impressed him the most — out of all the positives from the weekend sweep against Villanova. He has even more to be happy about thanks to senior righthander Tyler Gebler. Gebler was chosen as the Big East Baseball Pitcher of the Week yesterday afternoon — becoming the second Scarlet Knight starter to earn the award after senior lefthander Rob Smorol earned the same recognition earlier this year.
The Rutgers baseball team is off to its best start in Big East play since the 2010 season — thanks to series victories against Villanova and Louisville. The Scarlet Knights (11-12, 5-1) are still looking to get over the .500 mark for the first time this season. Six combined losses to Miami and Georgia Tech early in the season — when the offense was still trying to find its stride — did Rutgers no favors, but it has been performances against teams they should beat that leaves them with a losing record.
Junior outfielder Brian O’Grady extended his hitting streak to 12 games in Rutgers’ 9-4 victory Saturday against Villanova. He batted .384 in the three-game series.
Senior Tyler Gebler earned Big East Pitcher of the Week thanks to his three-hit shutout against Villanova.
Junior second baseman Nick Favatella looks to continue his hot hitting today at home against Columbia. In his last six Big East contests, Favatella has batted .344 with 10 hits and five RBI.
Rutgers Head Baseball Coach Fred Hill said before practice Wednesday he wanted to see a completely different effort than the one on display in Tuesday’s loss to Rider. Hill got all that and more yesterday, as Rutgers (9-12, 3-1) defeated Villanova, 6-0, to capture the first game of a three-game series against the Wildcats. Senior lefthander Rob Smorol went eight innings for the Knights, pitching a shutout on five hits to collect his third win of the season.
There is at least one luxury for the Rutgers baseball team Tyler Gebler knows will kick in once his teams gets over the .500 mark. “I mean, for practice we get Gatorade, so I guess that’s an incentive right there,” said the senior righthander. Only water will be available for the Scarlet Knights if they keep producing losses like the one suffered Tuesday against Rider. The Knights (8-12, 2-1) struggled against the Bronc’s pitching staff, as they generated just three runs in Lawrenceville, N.J.
Even with junior righthander Slater McCue — who has made only four appearances this season with one start — on the hill, the Rutgers baseball team still had the momentum of a 2-1 series win against No. 4 Louisville. It seems as if the series victory had an inverse effect, as the Scarlet Knights dropped a 9-3 loss yesterday to Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. Greg Fazio drove a two-run shot out of Sonny Pittaro field yesterday to put the game out of reach for the Knights.
With a 3-9 record before spring break, the Rutgers baseball team could not have asked for a better remedy than a seven-game road trip. “Usually every year I’ve been here, we usually get hot during spring break and it’s the time we seem to be swinging the bats the best and getting real comfortable with what we are doing,” said senior lefthander Rob Smorol. “Maybe we needed the four weeks before [spring break] to dust off the cobwebs to now be able to get on a role.”
Senior Outfielder Steve Zavala went 3-for-3 with three RBI singles in Rutgers 7-3 win Sunday against Louisville. In 16 games this season, Zavala has batted .351 and is tied for the team lead with 11 RBIs.
Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill is not pleased with the way the Scarlet Knights (3-9) have begun the season. There were series against Miami and Georgia Tech that featured deeper lineups than the Knights possess, and the 0-6 combined record against those two programs was nothing out of the ordinary. Dropping two of three games to William & Mary, a team Hill said Rutgers is better than, was not expected.
Whenever a pitcher allows only one earned run, there is a strong possibility that the team will walk away with a win. For the Rutgers baseball team, its continued struggles at the plate resulted in two losses to William & Mary, a team head coach Fred Hill believes his team is better than. Despite senior righthander Charlie Law’s 12-strikeout performance, the Knights could not secure runs in Sunday’s 4-3 loss.
Despite senior outfielder Steve Zavala (above) going 6-for-10 in the series, Rutgers batted just .192 as a team in the series.
Senior righthander Charlie Law pitched well in Sunday’s 4-3 loss on the road.
When asked about what the Rutgers baseball team could take out of its three-game series lost to Georgia Tech last weekend, sophomore leftfielder Vinny Zarrillo could only go back to the emotions he felt after the sweep. “I think a lot of us felt kind of embarrassed after,” Zarrillo said. “We know we’re a much better team than getting outscored by 33 runs, so we just have to put it in the past and not dwell on it, and we are going to look forward to this weekend with the mindset of winning three games.”
Junior shortstop Pat Sweeney and the rest of the Rutgers defense will look to cut down on errors in its weekend series with William & Mary. Rutgers commited seven in their last series against Georgia Tech.
For Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill, the responsibility of the five-hole hitter involves making contact more than any other offensive statistic. “He doesn’t have to hit homeruns, but he has to put the ball in play,” Hill said of that spot in the lineup. So, barring an offensive letdown from the top four spots, the five hole usually provides several opportunities not just to drive runners in, but see pitches that are easier to hit.
It was only last season that the Rutgers baseball team could at least compete with Georgia Tech during their three-game series. Head coach Fred Hill did not see that this weekend against the No. 16 Yellow Jackets — as the Scarlet Knights were swept in all three games while only producing three runs.“Bad weekend,” Hill said. “I thought Georgia Tech was good, but we played poorly. More importantly than anything else though, we didn’t swing the bats well.”
Senior righthander Charlie Law only lasted two innings after allowing nine runs Sunday to Georgia Tech. Now that his ERA has increased to 14.73, whether he will stay in the weekend rotation is uncertain.