Rutgers and Rider were cancelled on Tuesday, but the Scarlet Knights were able to get on the field Wednesday. Dreams of an all-time upset were dashed early in the blowout victory for the Scarlet Knights. Unfortunately, St. Peter’s is now winless in 30 games this season. No, that is not a misprint. The Peacocks finished 2017 with a record of 0-38 plus having dropped their 2016 season finale, they have now lost 69 consecutive games.
Wednesday: Rutgers 17, St. Peter’s 0
Eric Reardon (2-2) got the start and ended up going six shutout innings of two-hit ball. Rutgers’s offense got him all the offense he needed in the third on RBI singles by Kevin Welsh and Mike Nyisztor. A sac fly from Chris Folinusz and RBI single from Luke Bowerbank stretched the lead to 5-0 through three innings of play.
The Scarlet Knights exploded in the 4th for 11 runs to squash any delusions of a Peacock comeback attempt. RBI hits in the frame came from Kyle Walker, Folinusz, Dan DiGeorgio, Welsh, Jawuan Harris, and Folinusz for a second helping. DiGeorgio and Harris’s hits were double, while Folinusz’s second hit of the inning was a triple.
After Reardon finished his day in the 6th, Carmen Sclafani put the exclamation point on the game with a home run to make it 17-0 in the bottom half, the 5th run he scored in the game. From there three Rutgers pitchers finished off the shutout. It was Rutgers’s 22nd win of the season.
Decisive stat: 17 hits to 3. Rutgers simply pounded Peacock pitchers. Nyisztor had three to pace the team.
Notable: Sidearming freshman Dylan McNulty made his collegiate debut, entering the game to the song, “Down Under” by Toto, very appropriate. Kevin Romero, who showed flashes last year, got into his first game of the season. Anthony DeRosa tallied his first collegiate base hit. Aaron McLaughlin made his debut, as he walked in his first plate appearance.
Opponent notables: Jersey City native Joe Albunia was let down by his defense, but only allowed one earned run in 2.2 innings of relief.
Rutgers is now 22-15 on the season, 9th in the Big Ten standings at 6-6 halfway through the league schedule. The Scarlet Knights are half a game back of Iowa and Michigan State.
Conference play continues at Purdue Friday with a 6 pm first pitch with RU looking to gain ground on the 6th place Boilermakers. Saturday’s game is also at 6pm, with the series concluding Sunday at 11 am.
Next Tuesday Columbia visits Bainton Field Tuesday at 1 pm.
Off the field
Nick Matera has been added to the Johnny Bench Award watchlist. The award goes to the nation’s best collegiate catcher. R.J. Devish was on the watch list in 2016, but ultimately did not bring the hardware back to RU. Matera has hit .279 on the year with 21 runs scored, 27 RBI (including 5 against Nebraska in the clincher), and five homers. Here’s to a solid finish to the slugging Matera’s season!