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Rutgers baseball defeats Monmouth in final midweek game.

Folinusz scores three times, Monmouth happy to be done facing him.

The big guy did it at the dish today.

After a weekend series in which Rutgers was swept by Maryland, the Scarlet Knights returned to the field Tuesday for their final non Big Ten game of the season against in-state rival Monmouth. Rutgers defeated the Hawks earlier this season on the road, 7-6 on April 17 on a game winning hit by Chris Folinusz. This game was equally competitive with the same offensive star for Rutgers as the last meeting.

Rutgers 4, Monmouth 3.

The Scarlet Knights (25-23) started Ryan Wares to get him some work and fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first. Rutgers briefly took a lead in the bottom of the fourth after a two-RBI single by Milo Freeman plated Chris Folinusz and Carmen Sclafani. Monmouth evened the game back up in their next turn at bat off Eric Reardon to tie the game 2-2.

Rutgers took a lead they would not relinquish in the bottom half. With two outs and nothing cooking, again it was Folinusz in the middle of the action. He doubled down the left field line then advanced to third on a wild pitch. With Jawuan Harris still batting, Chris was able to score on another errand pitch and give Rutgers a 3-2 advantage. Folinusz wasn’t done as he added a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th to extend the lead to 4-2. This insurance tally was huge as Monmouth did get a run in the 8th, but Tommy Genuario shut the door after that for his second save of the year.

Decisive stat: Rutgers pitchers walked six and hit five batters, but the Knights outhit the Hawks 9-6 which proved to be enough in the slim victory.

Notable: Freeman had two hits. Sclafani’s lone hit was a triple. Folinusz was 3-4, with three runs scored, an RBI, a homer, a double, and a stolen base. Wares threw three innings, allowing just one run.

Statistical Review (through 48 games)

Batting leaders

BA: Luke Bowerbank (.308), Folinusz (.294), Sclafani (.291).

Hits: Folinusz (57), Dan DiGeorgio (51), Mike Nyisztor & Nick Matera (46).

HR: Matera (5), Sclafani and Folinusz (3).

RBI: Matera (35), Folinusz (34), Nyisztor (31).

Runs scored: DiGeorgio (38), Nyisztor (35), Folinusz (29).

Stolen bases: Harris (21), DiGeorgio (17), Nyisztor (11).

OBP: Walker (.415), Sclafani (.386), Harris (.385).

NOTE: Aaron McLaughlin has a perfect (1.000) OBP as he walked and singled in his two plate appearances. Kevin Blum is just below the required number of plate appearances and has a .433 OBP and .327 batting average.

Pitching leaders

W: John O’Reilly (5), Tommy Genuario, Eric Reardon, & Harry Rutkowski (4).

SV: Serafino Brito (5), Karl Blum & Genuario (2).

ERA: Kiernan (3.14, 14.1 IP), Genuario (3.38, 37.1 IP), Kyle Gerace (3.60, 30 IP).

SO: Rutkowski (54), Brito (40), O’Reilly (40).

IP: O’Reilly (78.2), Rutkowski (64.0), Brito (39.1).

Full official stats

NOTE: Freshman Dylan McNulty is the team’s leader in ERA (0.00), but has only tossed two scoreless innings this season.

Next up

Big Ten play concludes with Minnesota visiting Rutgers this weekend. Rutgers needs to sweep the 1st place Golden Gophers to have any shot at the Big Ten tournament and have a ton of help.

Friday’s and Saturday’s first pitch are scheduled for 1 pm. Sunday’s regular season finale will be at noon.