As both their fanbases are charged up after big victories on the hardwood this week, Rutgers and Iona’s other B-teams, squared off on the diamond in New Rochelle Wednesday. Rutgers emerged the victor 12-3.
Nick Matera (4 RBI) and Gaby Rosa (4 IP, 0 ER) were the stars of the game. The Scarlet Knights (4-7) at the plate accumulated an odd triple-dozen (I just made that up) with 12 runs, 12* hits, 12 walks. Christian Campbell scored two runs, delivered 2 RBI, and struck out six starting on the mound. Max Herrmann struck out three in his one inning of work to close out the victory.
What has gone right ...
Five players are hitting over .300 (Carter, Matera, Bowerbank, Freeman, Campbell) and a sixth (Harris) is at .275. Harris has 7 XBH and is only percentage points behind Matera for the team lead in slugging percentage after Nick’s big performance today. Campbell has been their best pitcher and arguably best hitter (10 RBI, .310 BA) as well.
Position players filling in on the mound like Campbell (2.25 ERA) and Rosa (0.00 ERA) have been key to the wins thus far.
Keeping opponents in the yard. For a 4-7 team, allowing a SLG% of .402 isn’t too bad. The primary reason is Knights opponents have only hit 8 homers, the same as the Rutgers.
Needs improvement ...
Pitching, specifically issuing too many free passes. 58 walks allowed through 11 games is not going to get it done.
Speed killed last year, but not yet this season. The team only has 15 stolen bases this season but has allowed 21 so far. Last year RU stole 121 bases to opponents 45, almost a 3:1 ratio. So far the preseason prediction has been off the mark.
Where’s the defense? Rosa who is usually sure-handed has struggled with 5 errors. He only made 11 errors in 54 games last season! The team committed 59 miscues last year and already have made 21 this season. So it comes as no surprise the pitching staff has already allowed 17 unearned runs in 2017. Rosa’s four scoreless innings of relief will hopefully get him going at the dish as well since he has struggled to get base hits in 2017 other than the Miami finale. His steady defense is a huge asset if he can shake off a rough start and hit enough to stay in the lineup. With Gaby’s struggles Kevin Welsh has been playing shortstop, but he is also hitting below .200.
Up next ...
SPRING BREAK!!!!, sort of. A four-game series at North Florida in Jacksonville starts Friday at 4 p.m. as the team remains down south for a game at Florida Atlantic, then closes out the trip with a three game set against FCGU.
For Knights in the Pros - baseball edition, Patrick Kivlehan works to be on the Cincinnati reds opening day roster.