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Rutgers Baseball Position Preview: Left-handers to fill up bullpen

The Scarlet Knights will be left-handed heavy in the pen.

Rutgers Baseball

The first pitch for Rutgers Baseball is right around the corner and the team is gearing up for what it hopes will be another historic campaign.

The Scarlet Knights finished 44-15 last season, 17-7 in the Big Ten. They fell short in the Big Ten Championship Game to Michigan. Coming into the season, Rutgers is ranked 29th in the nation, according to a December College Baseball Preview.

With the season scheduled to begin on Feb. 17 with a three-game set against Campbell in Buies Creek, NC, we will breakdown each position group that Rutgers will go with this year.

The season is officially one day away and there is a rotation for the opening weekend series at Campbell.

Drew Conover will take the ball in the season-opener before true freshman Christian Coppola on Saturday. Transfer Jake Marshall closes it out on Sunday afternoon. Rutgers is right-handed heavy, especially within projected starters, but there are some lefties that will be given some important innings over the course of the season.

Justin Sinibaldi was used out of the bullpen last season and as a bit of a spot starter. He made 20 appearances, seven being starts, and totaled 36 innings. Even when getting the ball to start a game, Sinibaldi pitched more than three innings in a game just twice.

With Rutgers in need of a closer, they added a transfer that has experience in this area. Could Grant Besser become an option in the final inning?

At Florida SouthWestern State, a JUCO that featured 11 Division I signees, Besser was named First Team All-Conference in the Suncoast Conference. He made 20 appearances and finished with six saves. He pitched to a 1.28 ERA in 42 13 innings and struck out 61.

Freshman Donovan Zsak comes into the program with great potential. A four-year starter for St. Joseph (Met.), and high school teammate of Andrew Goldan, was one of the top left-handed arms in New Jersey as a senior.

Zsak ranked No. 6 overall and No. 3 left-handed pitcher in the state by Perfect Game. He has the potential to be a future pro and could be a big piece for the Scarlet Knights right away.

Sophomore Joe Mazza and freshman JT Kroner will also be in the mix. Being left-handed automatically makes a pitcher valuable coming off the bench.

Mazza made 15 appearances as a freshman. He totaled 13 innings and logged a 2.08 ERA. Kroner joins the Scarlet Knights out of Colonia, where he was named First Team All-Conference.

Steve Owens can mix and match some of the left-handers that are available out of the bullpen this season. It will be interesting to see if one can take on the closer role or emerge as an innings eater when needed.