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If there is anything the Old Dominion series illustrated for the Rutgers baseball team, the Scarlet Knights have the ability to put together offense when needed. The Knights crossed home plate 17 times in their last game against the Monarchs, their second win in the series. “Pretty much we just have to realize we are a good hitting ball club and we see a lot of things we are capable of doing and the defense is going to be there,” said senior reliever Nathaniel Roe of their offense. “So we have to keep being consistent hitting the ball.”
Senior lefthander Rob Smorol will take the mound for Rutgers tonight against Georgia Tech. Smorol’s 1.93 ERA in two appearances leads the pitching staff.
Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill knew exactly what being named Big East Pitcher of the Week would do for Rob Smorol’s mentality on the mound. “I think his confidence level has to be sky high,” Hill said. “It adds a little more to that. He certainly deserves it.” Smorol earned the recognition thanks to his showing on the hill in the Scarlet Knights first victory of the season. The senior lefthander threw eight innings in the 3-0 win against Old Dominion, an effort he partially credits to the rejuvenation of his curveball he worked on in the offseason.
Senior lefthander Rob Smorol allowed no runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings of work Friday against ODU. The performance netted Rutgers No. 1 starter Big East Pitcher of the Week honors.
Of the three games against Miami on Feb. 16 and 17, the Rutgers baseball team collected 20 hits in the series. In the Scarlet Knights’ 17-7 win Sunday against Old Dominion, they nearly matched that with 16 hits. The surge in offense was somewhat of a relief for senior catcher Jeff Melillo, who hit 2-for-4 with four RBI in the victory. “It’s definitely a good thing to have all of that hard work pay off and to see the results on the field,” Melillo said. “I know a bunch of us started off slow, but we just kept working all week — and the results paid off.”
Senior lefthander Rob Smorol looked strong in his second start, improving his ERA to 1.93 this season in two games.
Senior catcher Jeff Melillo drove in four runs in Sunday’s 17-7 win against ODU.
In just a few short words, junior outfielder Vinny Zarrillo put the Rutgers baseball team’s performance against Miami into context. “We’re all just getting back into it,” Zarrillo said. It is hard to judge the direction of a team in the first series, but some of the problems the Scarlet Knights had against the Hurricanes will have to be addressed starting today against Old Dominion. “They’re always a sound team,” Hill said. “They’re always going to be a good team.”
For Charlie Law, Sunday has left a bittersweet taste in the senior righthander’s mouth. “I would have liked a better result out of it, but it felt good to go out there and compete again,” he said. Law lasted six innings in the Rutgers baseball team’s 7-0 loss to Miami, completing a three-game sweep by the Hurricanes. And although he allowed four runs on six hits, it was his first start since the 2010 season. Head coach Fred Hill saw a lot of positives from the Mainland, N.J., native for the amount of time between his last two starts.
Senior righthander Charlie Law went six innings in Rutgers’ 7-0 loss Sunday to Miami. Law, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, started on the mound for the first time since his sophomore season when he redshirted.
Sophomore outfielder Vinny Zarrillo was the only player to have a higher batting average than Law, who also designated hit, in Rutgers’ series against Miami.
Junior co-captain Alexis Gunzelman will be instrumental in Rutgers’ goal to score 196 in a meet. She participated in floor last week for the first time this season.
The Rutgers baseball team’s schedule in the first month of the season is set up so it does not have to deal with winter weather conditions.But instead of traveling to Coral Gables, Fla. to experience the sunshine and warm weather usually promised this time of year, the Scarlet Knights dealt with rainouts and a cold atmosphere. As a result of the weather, the Knights were forced to play a doubleheader Saturday in their three-game series with Miami, dropping all three in the process.
Sophomore outfielder Vinny Zarrillo collected six hits in this weekend’s series against Miami, but the Knights could not find any consistency on offense, resulting in a three-game sweep by the Hurricanes.
Rob Smorol knows all about Miami. The senior lefthander took the mound last season in the Rutgers baseball team’s season opener against the Hurricanes, going four innings before he handed the ball off to the bullpen. Though the Scarlet Knights lost that game, 6-4, Smorol is antsy to get another chance at Miami. After being cooped up indoors because of the weather, his whole team should be ready to begin its season in the Sunshine State.
Senior lefthander Rob Smorol will start in the Knights first game of the season. Smorol went 8-4 in 15 appearances last season for head coach Fred Hill.
Sitting in his office Tuesday morning, Rutgers head baseball coach Fred Hill needed few words to describe the only starter not to return from last season’s team. “He’s a big loss obviously,” Hill said while perusing through his roster. The veteran coach was referring to former Knight Pat Kivlehan, who in just one season with the team went from who Hill described as a potential asset as a pinch runner to Big East Player of the Year. His story is well known.
Junior second baseman Nick Favatella will be called upon to help replace the impact of former Knight Pat Kivlehan, who batted .392 last season and .402 in the Big East.
With 22 players returning for the Rutgers baseball team, one would believe all of the questions for this season would be answered for head coach Fred Hill. But thanks to Pat Kivlehan’s presence last season for the Scarlet Knights, Hill has the job of finding out how to replace the former third baseman’s production. Kivlehan, who is now in the Seattle Mariners farm system, batted .392 last season with 14 home runs and 50 runs batted in. Hill believes some aspects of his game can be evenly distributed, but not everything can be easily replaced.