It may just be spring training in the major leagues, but college baseball is already in full swing on the season. Yesterday, the Rutgers baseball team won their home opener at Bainton Field, defeating Lafayette 11-3. In the first start of his career, Freshman Serafino Brito went 6+ innings and allowed just 2 earned runs to pick up his first career win. Senior Chris Suseck hit a three-run homer and went 3-5 with 5 RBI's and 2 runs in the game. Two sport freshman Juwuan Harris, who is also on the football team, went 4-5 with 4 stolen bases, 2 runs and an RBI.
Harris with 4 steals in today's win is most by RU ball player in a game since 04' & I'd bet it's the most ever in a home debut 4 @BaseballRU— Dylan Mruczinski (@REAL_DYL19) March 3, 2016
After dropping the first three games of the season to #6 Miami (6-2), the Scarlet Knights (3-4) have responded by winning three of their last four games. Last weekend, Rutgers took two out of three games on the road against George Mason (1-5). Leadoff hitter and catcher R.J. Devish starred in the series, going 5-8 at the plate along with 5 walks and a hit by pitch for an on-base percentage of .786. He also had a home run, 5 RBI's, 5 runs, and a stolen base in the series. He was honored with conference honors for the week.
Devish leads the team in batting average (.438), slugging percentage (.688), and on-base percentage (.667) so far this season. Harris is second on the team with a .364 batting average and leads the team with 6 stolen bases. Full stats for the entire team are here.
Next up, Rutgers heads to Virginia for a three game series against Old Dominion this weekend, starting at noon on Saturday. The Monarchs have started the season at 7-1 and took 2 of 3 games in the series last season between the two schools. Rutgers ace pitcher and senior Howie Brey will take the mound in the series opener on Friday. Brey is 1-1 on the season with a 3.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.
It was also announced today that Rutgers baseball will have three conference games televised live on the Big Ten Network this season. Their Big Ten opener at Michigan State on Friday, March 25th will be shown live at 3pm. Their game on Saturday, May 7th at Michigan will be televised at 6pm, as well as their Sunday, May 15th game at Maryland at noon. In addition, 11 of Rutgers 12 Big Ten home games and 4 road games will be televised live on BTN Plus. After starting last season 2-12, Rutgers is off to a much better start this year. They were picked to finish in 11th place in the Big Ten during the preseason, which is where they finished last season. Hopefully, they continue on a hot streak this weekend against Old Dominion.