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Rutgers unveils schedule for 2020

The Rutgers baseball team had a 2019 regular season that was unanticipated to most, to say the absolute least. 

Involving a disastrous start to the year, a hot stretch in the month of April, and a disappointing end to the season, the Scarlet Knights ended regular season play with some business that has yet to be taken care of, and will open the 2020 season against Miami.

Rutgers enters the season with a chip on its shoulder after a year that left them with a 20-31 overall record and only 9 wins out of the 24 games that were played in the Big Ten Conference.

Being the sixth year in a row that the Knights have started their season with a series in Coral Gables, Florida, these two baseball programs have played each other often in the past with little success generated for Rutgers as a result. 

Dating back to 2018, the Hurricanes have a five-game winning streak in the schools’ regular-season series, which includes a 19-3 blowout win against the Knights in their opening day last year.

Rutgers is looking to change that, and certainly will come out on Feb. 14 with the opportunity to do so, thanks to some of the strong arms they for the 2020 season.

Leading the Knights’ pitching staff this year will be senior pitcher Tevin Murray, the 6-foot-6-inch left-hander whose success last year can be shown with a respectable 3.01 earned run average in his 17 appearances on the season.

Along with Murray, senior right-handed pitcher Tommy Genuario and junior left-handed pitcher Harry Rutkowski will also seek to carry over some of their success, after posting a 3.14 and 4.08 earned run average, respectively, in the productive 2019 season that the two had. 

When looking at the schedule for the upcoming year for this baseball program, it's apparent that these pitchers will need to maintain low ERAs if Rutgers wants to re-write any of its early-season misfortunes that have plagued them in recent years.

After a couple of opponents including Wagner, Washington State, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Peter’s, who accumulated a combined .260 winning percentage last season, the Knights will have their work cut out for them.

They are scheduled to oppose a group of programs that includes Old Dominion, Army West Point, Florida Gulf Coast and Ohio State. The four schools went a combined 140-95 in 2019.

Once this tough stretch of games ends, first-year head coach Steve Owens and his team will try and prepare for an end to the season that includes a mix of schools with both high and low expectations for 2020. 

When that end to the regular season comes with a home game at the Banks against Illinois, it will be known whether Rutgers had a successful year. It will be known whether it shocked Miami in the opening series, and it will certainly be known whether the Knights will be able to overcome a tough stretch of opponents and hectic end to the season. 

For now, though, all this baseball program can do is look forward to the season that lies ahead of it — a season that will be nothing short of intriguing for seemingly everyone involved.

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

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