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On the diamond, Rutgers coming to a bumpy close to the season

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Both baseball and softball have had rough closes to the season.

rvc73

So, you've got softball in their off-season.  Following its series this weekend against the Hawkeyes, baseball will be in the same mode.  Wouldn't it be great if they both had an indoor facility for practice year round?  Maybe soon?

I know, not beautiful.  But the fund raising is going on and it should be a reality....soon?

Softball

It was somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde season for Rutgers softball.  Unfortunately, it was Mr. Hyde who showed up down the stretch, and that led to an early exit from the Big Ten Softball Championships.

When you're in a single elimination situation, there isn't any room for mistakes or weak play.  The Knights had their best in the circle, with senior Alyssa Landrith starting the contest.  And the seniors did their part to keep their season alive as Senior Chandler Howard led the squad with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, including two RBIs and two runs.  The lower-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh with two runs that sealed the deal.

The Knights graduate just three players: Landrith, Howard, and homerun leader Jackie Bates.  So, the outlook is pretty good for the Knights in 2016.  But Landrith accounted for more than half of all innings pitched (171.2/338.2).  The burden may fall on current junior Dresden Maddox (8-6) and current soph Shayla Sweeney (6-2).  Chandler and Bates accounted for 28 of the 51 homeruns hit by the Knights, so Jay Nelson will be looking for long ball power next spring.

Baseball

At 17-34-1, the baseball team can easily be described as struggling.  But like the softball team, they have only three seniors on the squad, and only two are regular starters.

Over the weekend, Rutgers was swept by league leading Illinois, now ranked No. 5 in the nation.  It was the fourth conference sweep against the Knights, all four over the last four weekends.  Ironically, the Knights scored more runs (13) against the Illini on Sunday than anyone had scored all season.  And they stroked six homeruns, bumping their season total to 21.  But then losing 28-13 tends to put a damper on that highlight.  Sophomore Tom Marcinczyk has one-third of that total of dingers.  If Joe Litterio can find some more power to protect Marcinczyk in the lineup, there could be better times ahead.

The Knights close out the season this weekend at home, again facing a top conference squad in Iowa.

5/09/15

at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

L, 5-4


at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

L, 6-2

5/10/15

at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

L, 28-13

5/14/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

3:00 p.m. ET

5/15/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

1:00 p.m. ET

5/16/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

11:00 a.m. ET