For the second week in a row, Rutgers looked to build on a series finale win in their last Big Ten contest against a local opponent. This time it was in Easton, PA against the Lafayette Leopards.
Wednesday: Rutgers 9, Lafayette 3.
The Scarlet Knights were on the board quickly in the second inning on Tyler McNamara’s first collegiate home run. They didn’t stop there as the next three batters singled with still nobody out, setting up David Soto. The freshman Soto grounded out to third, but it was enough to score Luke Bowerbank. The productive out is just what this doctor ordered, though Mike Nyisztor could not get one himself and the team ended up leaving the bases juiced.
Rutgers starting pitcher, freshman Jared Bellissimo had it on cruise control until the 4th when he surrendered two runs to knot the game at two. Another run came around in the 5th and RU was suddenly down 3-2.
After the bullpen righted the ship once again, the RU bats woke up for another big inning, this time plopping a six spot one the scoreboard. The rally included RBI hits from Kevin Welsh, Tim Dezzi, and Kevin Blum with three walks and an error sprinkled in. An final insurance run in the 9th off an RBI groundout courtesy of Bowerbank made it a 9-3 final.
Decisive stat: 4.1 shutout innings from the RU bullpen. Steven Acosta (1.1 IP) earned his third win of the year while Garrett French, Parker Scott, and Serafino Brito each added a scoreless frame of their own.
Notable: RU did not commit a single error. Dezzi, Chris Brito (2 2B), and Kevin Blum (2 RBI) each had two hits. Brito, McNamara, and Bowerbank each scored twice.
After earning Big Ten Player of the week, Senior Third Baseman Carmen Sclafani had the day off. Sclafani tallied a ridiculous 12 RBI in four games last week, going 8-14 in his at bats that included a clutch 5-7 w/RISP and 3-3 with the bases loaded. Seven of those RBIs came in just one game, last Wednesday against Wagner. His three run homer in the finale at Iowa got the ball rolling toward a 15-3 Scarlet Knight blowout victory, too.
B1G League Chew: Rutgers has now won 23 of its last 24 games against Lafayette. The one they didn’t win was a tie.
Next up: A three game weekend series at home against Michigan State. First pitch Friday is at 2 pm.
VIDEO: Tyler McNamara after his first collegiate homer in the win at Lafayette. #RBaseball pic.twitter.com/z1eSRgwDZu— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) April 11, 2019