Rutgers loses 3-game series to Old Dominion on road
Coming off a weekend in which it won 2 of 3 in New Orleans at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic, the Rutgers baseball team faltered in a place it won 2 of 3 last year.
The Scarlet Knights (2-7) were swept in a three-game series against Old Dominion down in Norfolk, Virginia. From the bottom of the third inning Saturday through Sunday’s game, Rutgers was outscored 24-2.
On Friday, sophomore left-handed pitcher Harry Rutkowski had yet another solid start. He went six innings, yielded nine hits, allowed 2 earned runs and struck out seven batters.
The only problem was that the Monarchs' (8-2) right-handed pitcher Nick Pantos went six scoreless innings of his own while striking out eight batters.
The Knights trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, but got on the board on an infield RBI single from senior catcher Tyler McNamara. The game was then scoreless until the bottom of the ninth inning, where Rutgers put together a gritty rally, and got a break along the way.
With one out, junior outfielder Kevin Blum legged out an infield single to second base. He then stole second with two outs in the inning. He was brought home when redshirt freshman infielder Tim Dezzi reached on a throwing error by Old Dominion's shortstop Tommy Bell.
Freshman infielder David Soto pinch-ran for him and was subsequently picked off at first base by the Monarchs' catcher Bryce Windham.
In the ninth inning, junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Gerace got the first two outs, but then yielded back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and third. Junior right-handed pitcher Tommy Genuario, who didn't throw a pitch before the Knights lost the game, would enter the game.
Genuario tried picking off the runner on first base, but true freshman first baseman Chris Brito was not covering the bag. Old Dominion's Matt Schwarz walked home, giving the Monarchs a 3-2 series opening victory.
On Saturday, Rutgers led 5-0 entering the bottom of the third inning. The Knights chased Old Dominion's right-handed pitcher Morgan Maguire after just three innings. He gave up 5 earned runs on six hits.
Junior left-handed pitcher Tevin Murray could not get out of the third inning, yielding 5 runs over 2.2 innings. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Muller then entered and gave up 2 earned runs over two innings, earning the loss. The floodgates then opened, with the Monarchs scoring five more times en route to a 12-5 victory. They finished with 14 hits on the day.
On Sunday, freshman left-handed pitcher Brian Fitzpatrick made his first career start and left with an injury after three pitches. True freshman right-handed pitcher Garrett French then entered, allowing 10 earned runs over 2.1 innings. He yielded 7 in the first inning alone en route to a 12-2 defeat.
The bright spot of the day came from true freshman infielder Brett Sternberg. A Churchville, Pennsylvania native, Sternberg picked up three base hits, including a double in his first collegiate start.
With today’s midweek game against Iona postponed, the Knights will next be in action against USC Upstate in South Carolina for a three-game series, beginning Friday.
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