Okay, this is getting better.
In between two conference series wins was a disappointing two-game skid to Seton Hall. The win over Purdue last weekend put a hop in their step, and the two wins at Iowa (23-15, 6-6 B1G) this past weekend - including the TV game on BTN Saturday - pushed the Knights up the standings and into a position to feel good about where they are heading.
The Friday opener at the Hawkeyes’ Banks Field saw the home team utilize the long ball to get the win. The middle game was error filled for both squads (five total) before the Knights came out swinging, putting up a 10-run lead before finally closing out the game with a 13-5 margin. It was the most runs scored by RU in a Big Ten road game since joining the league.
Missing the spring football game (for a very good reason) Jawuan Harris reached base his first five times up, getting three walks, a double, a single, two steals and three runs. Senior Tom Marcinczyk and freshman Kevin Welsh both had three hits, while sophomore Nick Matera cleared the fence with a three-run homer.
Speaking of Seton Hall
It was a disappointing two losses to in-state rival Seton Hall last week. After dropping the home game 9-6, the Knights traveled up the Turnpike to South Orange where the Pirates took the Scarlet into extra innings. RU had a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. The Hall plated two to tie the game. But Rutgers came back with two of their own in the top of the ninth. And then lost the lead as the Pirates scored twice in their half of the ninth. The game ended -incredibly - on an inside the park home run in the 12th inning. Ugh.
The Knights have four more Big Ten series remaining, two at home and two on the road. The final twelve conference games begin this Friday when they host Michigan. As the season closes, RU faces two squads that are currently ahead of them (Michigan, Nebraska on road) and two behind them (Northwestern on road, Illinois at home).
The Michigan series is sandwiched between two non-con games this week (Villanova on Tuesday, Columbia on Wednesday - weather permitting) and Wagner on May 2, all at home.
If Rutgers hope to make the Big Ten Tournament in Indiana on Memorial Day weekend, they need to continue winning series. The top eight teams make the cut for the tournament.
Stats and stuff
Rutgers has the fifth best batting average in the Big Ten with a .279 mark. It also has the conference’s leading hitter in Mike Carter (.391). The pitching and fielding, though, have been a major issue with the Knights last in team ERA (6.06) and fielding (.954 FP, 65 errors).
Following Saturday’s win against Purdue last weekend, the baseball team shaved their heads to cap off their fundraiser for the Vs. Cancer Foundation. The team has been raising money since the fall to fund research for different types of childhood cancers. Half of the money will go to support the Vs. Cancer Foundations mission and the other half goes directly to the Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Hospital.
This year the Scarlet Knights raised: $17,589.80
Regarding media, WRSU- FM 88.7 also carries many home games.