Rutgers entered Big Ten play winning 14 of its first 19 games of the season. The offense stayed hot as the Scarlet Knights took two out of three from Penn State capped off by a record-setting game on Saturday.
The series began with a Friday double-header in University Park. Rutgers (16-6, 2-1) won the opener of the series 6-4 before Penn State (8-13, 1-2) took the nightcap 8-6. On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights took the rubber match and did so in a big way with a 20-6 victory.
Rutgers set new program records during Big Ten play with 20 runs and 25 hits in the victory. The offense got going early with three runs in the first inning before adding another pair in the second.
Ryan Lasko was the catalyst for the offense over the weekend going 9-for-12 with two doubles, one home run, five runs scored, and five walks.
This also marked the first time since a 2010 battle with FIU that four Scarlet Knights totaled at least four hits in a game. This was accomplished by Danny DiGeorgia (5), Tony Santa Maria (5), Lasko (4), and Nick Cimillo (4).
Lasko got the ball rolling in the first inning with a double before Cimillo ripped a single. Evan Sleight began the scoring with a two-RBI single. Garrett Callaghan drove in Sleight and Lasko kept it going in the second inning with a home run.
Leading 12-6 heading into the top of the ninth, the Scarlet Knights left no doubt putting up an eight spot. Six different players drove in runs in this ninth inning led by Lasko, who capped off an incredible weekend with a two-RBI double.
The Scarlet Knights saw eight players record a hit and drive in a run.
“Our guys showed up and they were ready to play, as evidenced by the first inning.,” head coach Steve Owens said of the win. “That’s a good sign and that’s what we preach – play every inning hard until the end.”
The Scarlet Knights will look to kept going as they host NJIT (10-9) on Tuesday and St. Peter’s (3-17) on Wednesday before jumping back into conference play when they host Minnesota (8-15) over the weekend.