GREENVILLE, N.C. (March 19, 2011) – The Rutgers baseball team fell to East Carolina, 6-3, in front of 3,495 fans at Clark-LeClair Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Pirates strung together five hits, including RBI singles from Chris Gosik, Jonathan Holt and Jack Reinheimer and a sacrifice fly from Trent Whitehead to plate four runs in the second inning and jump out to the early.
The Scarlet Knights used a two-out rally in the third to get one of those runs back as Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) singled and later came around to score after Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) singled to left field to make it 4-1.
Rutgers further cut into the ECU lead on one swing of the bat as sophomore Steve Nyisztor (Toms River, N.J.) took the second pitch of the sixth inning over the left-field fence for a home run – his second of the season – to make it 4-2. RU threatened for more as ECU starter Mike Wright was chased out of the game in the inning. The Scarlet Knights put runners on second and third with two outs but newly-inserted Brad Mincey got out of the jam with a strikeout.
O’Grady drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and advanced all the way to third with one out but was left stranded 90 feet from home in the frame.
East Carolina loaded the bases in the eighth against reliever Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) and got a walk and an RBI single to push across two runs and extend its lead to 6-2.
Pinch hitter Nick Favatella (Washington Twp., N.J.) reached on an infield error to lead off the ninth and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch where Lang drove him home on a single back up the middle to make it 6-3 with one out in the frame. The Pirates brought in their standout closer Seth Simmons, who got a groundout and a strikeout to hold off the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers starter Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) (1-3) scattered seven hits with four runs allowed in 6.1 innings with a strikeout in the loss for RU. Wright (4-0) allowed two earned runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts in 5.2 innings in the win, while Simmons picked up his fourth save of the season.
Lang had his third multiple-hit game in four contests this week with a 3-for-5 day at the plate for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers and East Carolina will close the series with a noon game Sunday. It will be the final game of the Scarlet Knights’ eight-game spring break trip. Junior righty Nathaniel Roe (Plainfield, N.J.) will be on the mound for RU against junior lefty Kevin Brandt for ECU.