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Pivotal weekend ahead for three Rutgers programs

The Scarlet Knights have three programs heading down the stretch with plenty to play for.

Rutgers skipper Steve Owens has his team fighting for its first ever Big Ten title.
Christian Willbrant / Rutgers Athletics

It’s a monster weekend ahead for Rutgers athletics. Men’s and women’s lacrosse are competing in postseason play and the baseball team has a tremendous opportunity to solidify their place atop the Big Ten regular season standings. We preview the action and provide info on how to watch or attend below.

The Big Ten Tournament semifinals for men’s lacrosse takes place tonight in College Park, Maryland with the undefeated and top ranked Terps hosting. No. 2 seed Rutgers (12-2; 4-1), who are ranked No. 4 nationally, will face No. 3 seed Ohio State (10-4; 3-2) tonight at 8:00 p.m. airing live on the Big Ten Network. The Scarlet Knights blew out the Buckeyes, who are currently ranked No. 11 nationally, by the score of 18-7 on March 27th at SHI Stadium. Despite falling behind 3-0, RU dominated the rest of the game. Ross Scott led the way with four goals and three assists. Rutgers has won six straight games against OSU. With a win tonight, the Scarlet Knights would advance to the Big Ten Championship game for the first time since 2016.

UPDATE: Rutgers mens lacrosse advances to the Big Ten Tournament championship game on Saturday night against undefeated Maryland. Full recap here.

On Friday, the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for women’s lacrosse takes place at SHI Stadium as Rutgers serves as the host. The No. 13 Scarlet Knights (14-3; 4-2) are the No. 3 seed and face No. 4 Northwestern (13-3; 5-1) who are seeded No. 2 in the conference tourney. The game begins at 8:0) p.m. and will air live on the Big Ten Network. RU lost on the road 21-13 to the Wildcats on April 7 and will look to pull the upset in front of the home faithful. If you are interested in attending, here is the link to purchase tickets.

Earlier in the week, the program had five players named All-Big Ten. Meghan Ball, Taralyn Naslonski & Cassidy Spilis earned First Team honors. Jessica Beneducci & Stephanie Kelly were named to the Second Team. It’s the most players the program has ever make All-Big Ten in one season while Ball and Spilis became the program’s first unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selections. Individual Big Ten awards will be announced next week.

Neither program has ever won a Big Ten Tournament title and both teams have a huge opportunity in the semifinals. The good news is both Rutgers men’s and women’s lacrosse are in very good shape to earn at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament even if they do not advance to the Big Ten title game. The men’s team has an RPI ranking of No. 6 and the women’s team has an RPI ranking of No. 8.

UPDATE: No. 13 Rutgers women’s lacrosse stunned No. 4 Northwestern to advance to the program’s first ever Big Ten Championship game.

In addition to conference tournaments for both men’s and women’s lacrosse, Rutgers baseball has its biggest series of the season at Bainton Field this weekend. The first place Scarlet Knights (36-10; 15-3) host second place Maryland (36-9; 11-4) for a three game set that could ultimately decide who wins the Big Ten regular season title. The program announced that the series has been pushed back a day due to heavy rain expected on Friday.

It is free to attend all three home games but you must register your car to park which you can do here.

Ryan Lasko won four National Player of the Week awards and Big Ten Player of the Week for his stellar four game performance last week. The center fielder went 14 of 21 at the plate with 5 home runs, 14 RBIs, 9 runs scored, & 2 stolen bases. He had at least 3 hits in every game including a 3 homer performance last Saturday.

On the flip side, Maryland’s ace pitcher Ryan Ramsey threw the 20th nine-inning perfect game in college baseball history last Friday night in a 13-0 win over Northwestern.

It should be a fun series that pits the top two hitting teams in the Big Ten against one another with Rutgers leading with a .315 team batting average and Maryland hitting .300. On the mound, RU is second in the league with a 3.52 ERA and the Terps are third with a 4.25 ERA.

Two other programs that have had success this spring are rowing as well as men’s and women’s track and field. They are all off this coming weekend in preparation of competing at the Big Ten Championships in both sports the following weekend.

Stay tuned for our coverage of Rutgers Athletics this weekend here at On The Banks!