Rutgers’s overall win streak ended with a midweek loss to Hofstra, but they still took a four game Big Ten win streak into Friday’s matchup with the Purdue Boilermakers.
Rutgers 2, Purdue 0
The Scarlet Knights started Harry Rutkowski and he was simply awesome. The bats got him a run in the bottom of the second. Singles by Victor Valderrama and Luke Bowerbank were followed by a sac bunt from David Soto. A Kevin Blum groundout brought in the first run.
Valderrama singles, Bowerbank singles, Soto lays down a sacrifice bunt & Blum picks up an RBI to give the Scarlet Knights an early lead.— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) April 19, 2019
B2 | Rutgers 1, Purdue 0 pic.twitter.com/uI0ihbWSXI
Neither team could break through for inning after inning as Rutkowski and Purdue starter Andrew Bohm traded barbs. Harry only faced any trouble three times and was able to get strikeouts almost every time, contributing to his career high total of 12 punchouts. Harry’s final line: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 12 SO, 1 HBP, 111 pitches.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Scarlet Knights finally plated an insurance run. After Welsh singled, he was able to go first to third on a Tyler McNamara single. Taking the extra base was huge because a Carmen Sclafani groundout brought in Welsh. Chris Brito grounded into a double play, but the Knights now led 2-0.
With a two-run lead Serafino Brito shut the door in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the year.
SHUTOUT! Brito saves it for Rutkowski (eight innings, 12 strikeouts) in a 2-0 #RBaseball victory over Purdue. Scarlet Knights with five-straight Big Ten wins to improve to 6-4. pic.twitter.com/VlwpeKggNh— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) April 19, 2019
Decisive stat: Two productive outs. Both teams had seven hits, but it was putting the ball in play twice with a runner at third that got RU both of their runs. Making productive outs was something they didn’t do nearly enough earlier in the year so it shows growth and helped result in a victory. Purdue batters struck out against Rutkowski in a similar situation.
Notable: Rutgers did not commit a single error. Not giving up extra outs was also a point of emphasis for Coach Litterio and his staff. The infield was comprised of Sclafani at third, Welsh at short, David Soto at second, and Chris Brito at first. Welsh and McNamara each had two hits.
The three game weekend continues against Purdue, Saturday at 1 pm then concludes Sunday at 11 am. Both can be viewed on BTN Plus.