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Rutgers crushes Saint Peter's in dominating fashion, 17-0

When the Rutgers baseball team faced off against the team with by far the longest losing streak in the country, the results were exactly what one would expect them to be.

The Scarlet Knights (22-15, 6-6) had their biggest margin of victory of the season against Saint Peter’s (0-30, 0-12), beating the Peacocks 17-0 and handing them their 69th straight loss. 

The victory set a season high for runs, marked the first time they beat an opponent by at least 15 runs since their 28-4 win against Lafayette last year and also improved the team to 23-2 all time against Saint Peter’s.

Rutgers took control early, scoring 3 runs in the second inning and never looking back from there. 

Junior third baseman Carmen Sclafani started the inning by reaching on an error, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a single from sophomore second baseman Kevin Welsh. 

Welsh scored the second run of the inning with a 2-run single from freshman left fielder Mike Nyisztor that also scored redshirt freshman shortstop Dan DiGeorgio.

The Knights tacked on 2 more in the third before opening the floodgates in the fourth with 11 runs. They sent 15 batters to the plate, eight of whom got hits and seven drove in a run. 

It was the first time they scored that many in an inning since a 2013 game against Georgetown.

A solo home run from Sclafani in the sixth was the only other run after that, but the game was way out of reach at that point. It was Sclafani’s second straight game with a home run, and the first time in his career that he homered in back-to-back games.

The large amount of offensive production allowed for many different players to get in on the action. Ten players got hits, nine scored at least 1 run and eight had at least one RBI. 

The team leaders in each category were Nyisztor with three hits, Sclafani with 5 runs and fifth-year senior first baseman Chris Folinusz with four RBI's. 

The blowout also meant that regulars in the lineup were benched late in the game, which allowed little-used players to shine. Freshman infielder Anthony DeRosa made his second collegiate appearance and collected his first career hit, and fellow freshman infielder Aaron McLaughlin made his Rutgers debut and drew a walk.

The pitching backed up the scoring barrage, as four pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout. Sophomore starter Eric Reardon pitched a career-high six innings, allowing two hits and one walk, while junior Kevin Romero, freshman Dylan McNulty and sophomore Tevin Murray finished off the game by allowing one hit between the three of them.

Romero and McNulty’s appearances were their first of the season, while McNulty also made his collegiate debut in the win.

The Knights now head to West Lafayette, Indiana to face Purdue (20-16, 7-4) for a three-game series this weekend. They’ve played one series against the Boilermakers since joining the Big Ten, taking 2 of 3 at home last season.

Purdue has the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week in senior Ross Learnard, who closed out all four of the team's wins last weekend and earned three saves. He has currently pitched 19 straight scoreless innings.

On offense, the Boilermakers have three players batting over .300. Sophomore Skyler Hunter (.333), junior Jacson McGowan (.328) and junior Nick Dalesandro (.304) are also the only three players on the team with more than 40 hits, and McGowan is fourth in the Big Ten with 11 home runs and tied for third with 43 RBI's.

Rutgers has a four-game homestand following the series, hosting Columbia on Tuesday and Michigan over the weekend.

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

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