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Rutgers cruises by Wagner in 11-4 win

In its first home game of the season, the Rutgers baseball team put on a show in front of its home crowd faithful, beating Wagner 11-4 at Bainton Field in Piscataway. 

The victory brings the Scarlet Knights up to 3-4 on the young season and drops the Seahawks back down to .500 at 3-3. 

Sophomore pitcher Kyle Gerace took the mound for Rutgers, making his first start of the year. Gerace tossed five solid innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on seven hits. He looked poised on the mound with a strong command of the strike zone, not issuing a single walk and striking out two. 

Even with Gerace’s strong performance, it was the offense that won the Knights this game. Posting 11 runs on 12 hits, the team seems to be getting into a nice offensive groove after also putting up 25 runs in three games over the weekend. 

Junior center fielder Jawuan Harris was the highlight of the game, lighting up the box score by going 4-5 with four RBIs, 2 runs scored and two stolen bases. 

Blasting a 2-run bomb down the left field line in his first at-bat, it was clear the Rutgers' 3-hitter in the lineup was locked in for the day. 

After singling in his second at-bat, Harris came up in the fourth with two men on and roped a double down the line, allowing both men to score and making it an 8-1 ball game — putting it out of reach for Wagner. He would then add another single in his last at-bat to cap off his terrific performance at the plate. 

Sophomore shortstop Kevin Welsh had himself another big day as well, going 2-4 with two RBIs and 2 runs scored. After having a nice weekend collecting five hits in Port Charlotte, Florida, it is evident that Welsh’s season has officially started as he has found his stroke at the plate. 

Breaking out for the Knights was junior third baseman Carmen Sclafani, who went 3-4, driving in 2 runs and scoring 1 of his own. 

The highlight of his afternoon was an opposite field, RBI triple to the right center field gap when he came to bat in the fourth. That made it a 6-1 game at the time. Sclafani also added an RBI double in the 5th and a single in the 7th. 

The Rutgers bullpen continued its hot start to the season going four innings, giving up just 1 earned run on four hits. 

Junior right hander Serafino Brito highlighted the work out of the pen when he took the hill in the 9th to shut the door. Sarafino made quick work of the Seahawks, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced on his way to a 1-2-3 final frame. 

It was a great day all around for the Knights as they clicked on all cylinders, getting their home season started on the right foot. If the starting pitching, bullpen and offense can continue to play like this, it is going to be a good season for this Rutgers squad. 

Next up will be a three game set against Old Dominion as the Knights head down to Norfolk, Virginia, this Friday.   

For updates on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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