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Mike O' Sullivan

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Junior pitcher Ryan Fleming earned the win on the night after holding the Wildcats hitless and scoreless in an inning of work Wednesday afternoon.

Late rally pushes Rutgers past Villanova

Following a weekend in which the Rutgers baseball team won 2 of 3 games against Big Ten rival Penn State, there was little time the team (21-20, 5-7) to rest or revel in its strong performance. The Scarlet Knights traveled to New York City on Tuesday afternoon and were scheduled to take on Columbia for a midweek game, but only got through one inning before the torrential rain led to the game being cancelled. This meant they still had to come home on Wednesday for a showdown at Bainton Field against Villanova (15-25, 3-6), but were well-prepared and proved it by picking up another win, 6-4. The Knights returned to the Banks with a vengeance, staging a late comeback to emerge victorious after facing an early deficit. “It was very good to see, especially after some frustrating moments,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Outfielder Tom Marcinczyk said he’s feeling more comfortable at the plate. The junior leads the Knights in home runs and RBIs.

Rutgers aims for first winning record of season

Avoiding letdowns after major events is a factor that separates good teams from bad teams in sports. The Rutgers baseball team (20-20, 5-7) squared off against Big Ten rival Penn State over the weekend, and were successful by taking 2 of 3 games from the Nittany Lions. It was a highly anticipated series for the Scarlet Knights, as they love playing at their home Bainton Field where they have an 11-2 record on the season, and it gave them an opportunity to move their record to the .500 mark for the first time all season. They played solid baseball all weekend and were close to nailing down a sweep on Sunday afternoon, but fell short after making a ninth inning rally in a 7-5 defeat. However, Rutgers was pleased to win the series because it is always the goal to do so and hopes to continue building towards more wins in its next sets of games. “Penn State coming in was a good team in a good conference, so being able to take two of three from them at home is a good thing,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Junior outfielder Tom Marcinczyk swings at a pitch during Rutgers' weekend series against Penn State. Marcinczyk hit a 2-run triple in the Knights' game one win. 

Rutgers seizes home series against Penn State

The Rutgers baseball team (20-10, 5-7) hosted Penn State (24-17, 9-6) this weekend for a three-game series at Bainton Field, the first time the Nittany Lions have played on the Banks since 1987.  There was excitement surrounding the series heading into the weekend, as the Scarlet Knights entered having won their previous two midweek games to give them some momentum. They took advantage of this recent wave of strong play, as the Knights won the series by taking 2 of 3 games. Playing in front of their home fans for three straight games gave Rutgers some confidence, and it parlayed that into reeling off some crucial Big Ten victories over a rival.

Sophomore infielder Kyle Walker hit a pinch-hit, 2-run double in Rutgers’ win Tuesday. It was Walker’s second hit of the season.

Rutgers extends impressive home record in 12-8 win over Delaware State

A beautiful sunny day at Bainton Field seemed to be the perfect setting for the Rutgers baseball team (17-19, 3-6) to get back on track after dropping a series against Ohio State last weekend. The Scarlet Knights love playing on the Banks at their home field, and proved it again by beating Delaware State (9-27, 9-5) in front of their home fans 12-8. Things started off slow for the Knights in this game, as they traded leads with the Hornets back and forth until late in the game when they broke ahead for good. Despite the slow start, it was the kind of all-around effort Rutgers was hoping to see as it is in the midst of 15 games in 20 days, and it led the Knights to a bounce back victory. “A win is always good to get,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Sophomore third baseman Milo Freeman said the fact that the bottom of the order is producing gives them an advantage. Batting in the bottom part of the order, Freeman is fourth on the team in RBI’s this season.

Rutgers hosts Delaware State in midweek matchup

With the New Jersey weather finally beginning to heat up, the Rutgers baseball team (16-19, 3-6) hopes to do the same on Tuesday when it returns home for a midweek matchup against Delaware State (9-26, 9-5). The Scarlet Knights will be looking to turn things around after dropping 2 of 3 games on the road against Ohio State over the weekend, but there were highlights to take away from the series. They received great pitching in games one and three, including a 7-4 victory in the opener but were unable to get the bats going in the series finale, falling 2-1. As Rutgers returns home to play at Bainton Field, it is hoping the familiar confines on the Banks will put them back on the winning track with more conference games ahead. “It’s a great thing about baseball that you quickly get a chance to get out there and face another opponent,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Senior Howie Brey threw a career-high 130 pitches in a complete game 7-4 win over Ohio State for Rutgers.

Rutgers drops series against Ohio State

The Rutgers baseball team (16-19, 3-6) made its first ever trip to play at Ohio State (23-12-1, 3-6) over the weekend and engaged in a closely contested series. After winning the first game of the series, the Scarlet Knights fell in the next two games.

Senior Howie Brey is slated to start in game one against Ohio State on Friday. Brey has 15 strikeouts over his last 15 innings.

Rutgers faces Ohio State in Columbus for first time in three game series

The past two games for the Rutgers baseball team (15-17, 2-4) have shown both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. After blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning to lose 7-6 in extras against Seton Hall on Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights followed with an equally close game the next day but were on the winning side by defeating the Pirates, 3-2. Both games featured clutch hitting from each side to give them leads but also saw the pitchers step up to put an end to rallies. With the Knights set to travel to Ohio State (21-11-1, 2-4) for a three-game series for the first time in program history, they are hoping to carry over their momentum from a big win on Wednesday and translate it to some success on the road. “The last two games are great ways for us to go into conference games,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Freshman pitcher Serafino Brito tossing a pitch. He gave up one run in seven innings of work.

Rutgers avoids repeat collapse, escapes with win over Seton Hall

After suffering an excruciating extra-inning loss the day before, the Rutgers baseball team (15-17, 2-4) bounced back on Wednesday afternoon to beat Seton Hall (23-11, 1-2) in another close game, by a score of 3-2. On a crisp and sunny day at Bainton Field in Piscataway, the Scarlet Knights avenged the previous day’s defeat by winning another close game between the in-state rivals, doing so with a pair of early runs and great pitching throughout. It was important for the Knights to respond to such a tough loss on Tuesday with a nice win on Wednesday, especially as they are preparing to play at Ohio State over the weekend. “Finishing it with a win today was extremely important,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Sophomore third baseman Milo Freeman said Howie Brey gives the Knights a pitcher that competes hard throughout his starts.

Senior provides strong presence at front of Rutgers rotation

Leaders are vital in any sport, but especially so in baseball. With the grind of a long season featuring early nonconference games followed by a loaded conference schedule, there are many opportunities to lose focus and see confidence dwindle if losing occurs. Teams look for an ace at the top of their pitching staff to keep the up the momentum when things are going well, but also to be a stopper and put an end to bad times. For the Rutgers baseball team (11-16, 2-4), senior pitcher Howie Brey fills that role at the front of the pitching staff. The southpaw from Middletown, New Jersey, is 2-3 on the season with a 3.17 ERA, leading the team in innings pitched (48.1) and strikeouts (41). He is coming off his best outing of the season, as Brey threw a complete game with eight strikeouts over Big Ten foe Indiana, leading the Scarlet Knights to a 7-1 victory and their first conference win of the season. But even more than the numbers show, his presence as a reliable and stabilizing force at the forefront of the rotation gives the Knights someone they know they can count on to set the tone for how they want to play in each series. “Howie is Howie, and that is usually very good,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

Junior Christian Campbell prepares to take a cut of a pitch in Rutgers’ 3-2 win over Indiana on Saturday afternoon.

Rutgers takes home series against Indiana

Heading into its series with Big Ten opponent Indiana over the weekend, the Rutgers baseball team (11-16, 2-4) was hoping to win its first series victory since the last weekend of February. The Scarlet Knights accomplished what they set out to do by taking 2 of 3 games from the Hoosiers (13-13, 1-2) in front of their home fans at Bainton Field, gaining their first pair of conference wins of the season. It got started on Friday afternoon for the Knights behind a complete game victory for senior lefty Howie Brey (2-3), who struck out eight batters and allowed just one earned run in a 7-1 win. The Middletown, New Jersey, native threw 118 pitches to complete the nine innings and used the strike zone very effectively, not walking anyone in the game. His dominant outing was much-needed for Rutgers and set the tone for it to win the series.

Senior Howie Brey allowed 4 runs while striking out three over six-plus innings in Rutgers series opener against Michigan State.

Michigan State sweeps Rutgers in close Big Ten series opener

Entering its first Big Ten series of the season, the Rutgers baseball team (8-14, 0-3) was looking to shake off a stretch of tough and close losses. While it played some more close games against one of the nation’s top teams in Michigan State (18-3, 3-0), it again found itself on the wrong side of the series and was swept to open conference play. The Scarlet Knights dropped all three games against the Spartans, and were hoping for better results after playing solid baseball throughout the weekend. “We pitched well and played well, but right now we’re looking for the next step in the program, and that’s to go out and win these close games,” said head coach Joe Litterio.

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