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Rutgers Baseball week in review

Knights win independent games, but swept by #30 Michigan

David Anderson

Rutgers Baseball had a busy week including two non-conference games last week before being swept by Big Ten leader Michigan. The team returned to the field for an in-state matchup with Rider.

Tuesday April 23: Rutgers 8, Columbia 3

The Scarlet Knights rode a five run third inning rally that included back to back jacks by Carmen Sclafani and Chris Brito. Jared Bellissimo got the win with a quality start.

Wednesday April 24: Rutgers 7, Iona 3

Rutgers won their 11th of the last 15 games on the right arm of Jack Parkinson who earned his first career Rutgers victory. Jack was backed by seven different players scoring for RU in just the first three innings of the contest.

Friday April 26: Michigan 8, Rutgers 3

Rutgers starter Harry Rutkowski lasted just 3.2 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The bullpen tried to keep the team in it, but RU would not get on the scoreboard until the 9th inning.

Saturday April 27: Michigan 10, Rutgers 1

Michigan put up crooked numbers in the 3rd, 6th, and 7th to cruise to victory, even though they only outhit the Scarlet Knights 7-6 on the day. Tommy Genuario threw five plus innings, allowing just two earned runs.

Sunday April 28: Michigan 4, Rutgers 1 (10)

On getaway day, Tevin Murray engaged in a pitchers duel with Michigan’s Jeff Criswell. The Wolverines scratched out a run in the 3rd and the game remained just 1-0 until the 8th when a Carmen Sclafani sac fly tied it up. Unfortunately in his 4th inning of relief, Rutgers closer Serafino Brito served up a walk-off home run in extra innings. Michigan moved to 31-11 on the season, 11-3 in Big Ten play. This was Rutgers’s first Big Ten series finale loss all year.

Series Takeaway(s): 1. Rutgers was swept by the 1st place Wolverines which dropped them to a tie for 8th in the Big Ten standings at a record of 7-8. With 13th place Penn State and 11th place Northwestern on the schedule before finishing with 2nd place Indiana, the Scarlet Knights need to win the next two series to realistically have a chance at the eight team Big Ten tournament field. 2. Despite the final scores, the second and third games were relatively evenly played. Rutgers just does not have as much room for error, so they can’t walk people or commit miscues. 3. The best pitchers on the Scarlet Knight staff have been real workhorses. They are all bigger guys who should be less likely to burn out, but baseball is a long season and Rutgers needs their three starters plus high leverage relievers to use their youth for another three weeks.

Wednesday May 1: Rutgers 5, Rider 4

On their home field, Rutgers returned to their winning ways behind Jared Bellissimo once again. The freshman built on his quality start a week ago by pitching eight shutout innings, without walking a batter. The offense was powered by 2 RBI from both Tim Dezzi and Kevin Welsh. Rider, happy to see someone other than Bellissimo, scored four in the 9th and got the tying run to 3rd, but Kyle Muller got a flyout to get the save. It was the first save of the season for Rutgers from someone other than Serafino Brito.

B1G League Chew:

Next up: 10* games left in 2019. Weekend series at Penn State May 3-5 is critical for Scarlet tournament hopes.

Check out the Big Ten Baseball Podcast for a recap of all the conference action.