On Friday, Rutgers baseball announced the addition of two pitchers transferring into the program. Maryland closer Sam Bello is making the move up the highway within the Big Ten, while Seton Hill starter Jared Kollar is stepping up from Division II.
Head coach Steve Owens found two key starters in the transfer portal for last season in Ben Wereski and Brent Teller. He is restocking the pitching staff with transfer arms once again this offseason.
Bello is hard throwing reliever who was fourth in the Big Ten with seven saves last season. In 16 appearances, Bello posted a 3.53 ERA along with a 1.30 WHIP in 23 innings. The right hander allowed only 18 hits and had 15 strikeouts. In just the second season of his collegiate career, Bello produced Maryland’s second lowest batting average against mark at .217.
”Rutgers University will allow me to do what I love most, which is to play baseball, but also assist in my pursuit of a criminal justice degree,” said Bello. “I believe playing for Rutgers will help me to build upon the necessary skillset for achieving my major life goals.”
Maryland had a 30 win season and claimed two victories in the NCAA Regionals, so Bello adds some big game experience to the staff as well. His longest save last season was an impressive 3 2⁄3 innings against no. 25 Michigan.
“Sam is a very hard-working and talented player who has a plan in place to achieve his goals in baseball,” said Owens. “We are pleased with his addition to our pitching staff and committed to helping him continue to improve. He has been extremely successful both in high school and in college, and has excelled in tough situations. In addition to his value on the field, Sam is well liked and respected by all who coach him and play with him. He will be a large contributor to what we are trying to build.”
The West Nyack, New York native joins a Rutgers staff that had 14 saves by six different pitchers last season. Dale Stanavich was sixth in the Big Ten with five saves and a staff-best 3.13 ERA. With the addition of Bello, Owens will have multiple proven Big Ten hurlers at his disposal next season.
Rutgers has also added Kollar, who went 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in helping Seton Hill advance to the Division II World Series. In 37.2 innings, he had 59 strikeouts and allowed just a .157 batting against.
“Jared is a very experienced and successful pitcher who helped lead his team to the World Series,” said Owens. “He logs innings, strike guys out and wins games. He has a great feel for pitching and a plus breaking ball. We are confident he will be a great fit on our team and will continue his success on the mound in the Big Ten while enjoying his final season of collegiate baseball.”
The Scarlet Knights need to replace all three starters from last season, including Harry Rutkowski, who signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays this past week.