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Rutgers Baseball & Softball: Meat Loaf was right

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When you think of baseball, of course you think of musical legend Meat Loaf. Well, it works for this post so work with me.

rvc73

Musician Meat Loaf notoriously - and allegedly - snookered Phil Rizzuto into doing the play-by-play voice over during the interlude of Paradise by the Dashboard Light. He also wrote a song quite appropriate for RU's weekend playing baseball and softball.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad.

Illinois Softball was 21-10 as they hosted the Scarlet.  But Rutgers took the final two games to win the series.  After dropping the opener 8-0, the Knights bounced back with a 10-5 eight-inning victory and a 3-1 finale win.  Rutgers improved to 17-20 on the season and 2-4 in the B1G.  The Illini are now 22-12, 3-3 B1G.

In Sunday's finale, Junior Shayla Sweeney dealt six scoreless frames of work to pick up a complete game victory.  Sweeney recorded her fourth complete game of the season, allowing only three hits, one run and two walks to improve to a record of 5-4.  Sophomore Sierra Maddox led Rutgers with a season-high three hits, including her fifth home run of the season.

In the middle game of the series, senior Melanie Slowinski and Maddox each had homeruns in the eighth to put Rutgers ahead. RU rallied to tie the game at five in the sixth.  Senior Aubrie Levine held strong in the circle, pushing the game to extra innings with two consecutive scoreless frames. Levine picked up her first career victory, tossing a career-high six innings and allowing only two Illini runs after entering in the third inning.

RU will be home for its next seven games, starting with a mid-week contest against Seton Hall.  It then hosts Big Ten contender Ohio State this weekend.

Results and upcoming games

4/01/16 at Illinois * Urbana, Ill. L, 8-0 (6)
4/02/16 at Illinois * Urbana, Ill. W, 10-5 (8)
4/03/16 at Illinois * TV Urbana, Ill. W, 3-1
4/06/16 vs. Seton Hall RU Softball Complex 4:00 p.m. ET
4/08/16 vs. Ohio State * RU Softball Complex 3:00 p.m. ET
4/09/16 vs. Ohio State * RU Softball Complex 1:00 p.m. ET
4/10/16 vs. Ohio State * RU Softball Complex 12:00 p.m. ET

Big Ten Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Penn State 6-0 1.000 17-14 .548
Michigan 5-1 .833 27-3 .900
Minnesota 5-1 .833 24-10 .706
Ohio State 4-1 .800 19-8 .704
Wisconsin 3-2 .600 18-14 .563
Illinois 3-3 .500 22-12 .647
Nebraska 3-3 .500 22-12 .647
Indiana 3-3 .500 20-13 .606
Purdue 2-4 .333 20-15 .571
RUTGERS 2-4 .333 17-20 .459
Northwestern 2-4 .333 11-20 .355
Michigan State 1-5 .167 19-17 .528
Iowa 1-5 .167 9-21 .300
Maryland 1-5 .167 8-25 .242

Baseball

Besides the series win. head coach Joe Litterio picked up his 300th career coaching win, bringing his total to 60 wins at Rutgers.

On the field, RU hosted its first Big Ten series of the year, winning the first two against Indiana, a team picked to finish third by a poll of the conference's coaches.  Indiana made its third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament last season with a 35-24 record.

In the opener, Senior Howie Brey pitched his fifth career complete game to lead Rutgers to a 7-1 win.  Brey (2-3) struck out a season-high eight batters and walked none in a 118-pitch outing. The left-hander scattered seven hits, but stranded six Indiana runners on base.  Junior Christian Campbell recorded two RBI doubles, while sophomore Milo Freeman singled twice and drove in two runs.

In the middle game of the set Campbell delivered a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning and redshirt junior Max Herrmann closed the door on the mound to lift Rutgers baseball to a 3-2 victory over Indiana in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.  Tom Marcinczyk registered two of the team's four hits to extend his on-base streak to 18 games. Chris Suseck also reached base three times, while R.J. Devish walked twice.

The Knights take a week away from Big Ten action, playing four non-conference contests this week before adding a home-and-home series with Seton Hall early next week.  Rutgers plays four of its next six at Bainton Field before resuming B1G play at tOSU a week from Friday.

Results and upcoming games

3/29/16 vs. Monmouth Bainton Field W, 20-4
3/30/16 at Monmouth West Long Branch, N.J. L, 12-2
4/01/16 vs. Indiana * Bainton Field W, 7-1
4/02/16 vs. Indiana * Bainton Field W, 3-2
vs. Indiana * Bainton Field L, 9-2
4/06/16 vs. Fordham Bainton Field 3:30 p.m. ET
4/08/16 vs. Saint Joseph's Bainton Field 3:00 p.m. ET
4/09/16 vs. Saint Joseph's Bainton Field 2:00 p.m. ET
4/10/16 at Saint Joseph's Merion Station, Pa. 1:00 p.m. ET

RVision Highlights

Big Ten Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
Michigan State 3-0-0 1.000 19-4-0 .826
Michigan 3-0-0 1.000 20-5-0 .800
Nebraska 5-1 .833 19-8-0 .704
Penn State 4-2 .667 15-12-0 .556
Ohio State 2-1 .667 19-7-1 .731
Minnesota 2-1 .667 15-10-0 .600
Illinois 3-3 .500 11-14 .440
Iowa 3-3 .500 11-14 .440
RUTGERS 2-4 .333 11-16 .407
Maryland 1-2 .333 14-14-0 .500
Indiana 1-2 .333 13-13-0 .500
Northwestern 1-5 .167 7-21 .250
Purdue 0-6-0 .000 4-20 .167