Rutgers baseball was left out of the NCAA Tournament field of 64 teams on Monday. It was an historic season for the Scarlet Knights despite falling just short of its first bid since 2007.
They entered Selection Monday with an RPI of 42 and were projected in by all major publications, although D1Baseball had them as one of the last four teams in the field of 64. In the end, a down year in the Big Ten, a strength of schedule of No. 149 and several poor non-conference losses were likely held against them by the selection committee. No other Big Ten teams were in the top 50 in the RPI rankings other than Maryland, the regular season conference champion.
The Scarlet Knights finish the 2022 season with 44-15 overall record, achieving the most single season victories in program history. In addition, their second place finish in Big Ten play was a program best since joining the league in 2015. In their first ever appearance in the Big Ten Tournament, they advanced to the championship game before losing to Michigan on Sunday night.
Ultimately, missing out on earning the automatic bid by winning the Big Ten Tournament cost them.
Head coach Steve Owens has led Rutgers to unexpected success in just his third season on the banks. In speaking with Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs last week about the job he has done, he said, “He has the program way ahead of schedule. I should say I’m surprised but I’m not based on the job he did previously at Bryant.”
Rutgers was not picked to finish in the top six of the Big Ten this past season and were the surprise story of the conference.
The Scarlet Knights had a program record eight players earn All-Big Ten honors and they led all power five programs with 22 road wins this season.
RU set program regular season records with runs (532), home runs (94), RBI (488), total bases (1109) and pitching strikeouts (489). They also led the Big Ten with a .979 field percentage.
This program had its best season in over a decade and is clearly headed in the right direction under Steve Owens. Better days are ahead!