For the second time this season, the conference named a Big Ten Freshman of the week from Rutgers Baseball team. Earlier this year it was Eric Heatter, but now the honor goes to fellow lefthander Harry Rutkowski. Rutkowski was drafted in the 28th round of the MLB draft last summer, but Scarlet Knights faithful are sure happy he elected to enroll on the banks.
Rutkowski pitched six and two-thirds scoreless innings to help Rutgers win the middle game of the weekend series with the Nittany Lions. The victory sealed the first series win of the conference season for the Scarlet Knights and it did not come easy. The Rutgers offense managed just a single unearned run on the day, so the Scarlet Knights needed every one of Rutkowski’s seven strikeouts to keep Penn State off the board. Notching his third victory of the year, Harry only allowed four hits and pitched out of one major jam when he struck out back to back hitters with runners in scoring position.
Rutgers head coach Joe Litterio offered his take on the performance of his young hurler, “I am proud of the way Harry approached his first Big Ten start as business as usual.” The skipper later added, “He did a great job keeping the Penn State lineup off balance.”
Rutkowski’s three victories come in six appearances (all starts) this season for a total of 32 innings pitched. His control has continued to improve while he continues to fan batters at a rate of a strikeout per inning. He has really come on as of late, being victimized for just a single earned run over his last 12 and two-third innings on the hill lowering his ERA to 4.50.
Great job Harry and keep it up!
Wednesday rivalry game with Princeton, 3 pm at Bainton Field.
Next weekend Big Ten play continues with a trip to Michigan State.