PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 1, 2011) – No. 18 Connecticut produced six two-out runs to defeat the Rutgers baseball team, 6-2, Sunday afternoon at Bainton Field. With the win, the Huskies (31-13-1, 15-3 BIG EAST) captured the series from the Scarlet Knights (15-25, 7-11 BIG EAST).
Rutgers is now tied with Seton Hall for ninth place in the BIG EAST standings with a 7-11 mark with three series remaining in the regular season. The Scarlet Knights host eighth-place Notre Dame (7-10) this coming weekend at Bainton Field with a 1 p.m. doubleheader slated for Saturday and a single game at noon on Sunday.
After four scoreless frames, UConn used a two-out rally in the fifth to push across four runs. George Springer singled home L.J. Mazzzilli for the Huskies’ first run. Springer stole second and later came around to score as Mike Nemeth took RU starter Nathaniel Roe’s (Plainfield, N.J.) 3-2 offering to the opposite field for an RBI single. Ryan Fuller tripled to the opposite field, finding the gap in right-center field, to bring home Nemeth before scoring on an infield single as the Huskies plated four two-out runs in the frame.
Connecticut put a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs in the sixth and Springer coming to the plate. Roe was one strike away from getting out of the inning with an 0-2 count against the Husky power hitter, however, Springer hit a hard line drive that found a hole on the right side for a two-run single as UConn continued its two-out production to extend the lead to 6-0.
Sophomore Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) came in to finish the frame and worked 3.1 scoreless innings with just two this allowed and two strikeouts.
Senior Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) hit a one-out infield single in the eighth to set up RU’s first score of the afternoon. Two batters later, D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) singled down the third-base line where the third baseman scooped it up and, in a feverish attempt to retire the Scarlet Knight, made a wild throw to first base that came to rest near the fence on the right side. Lang came around and score on the play.
The Scarlet Knights tried to rally in the ninth, loading the bases without recording an out on singles from Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) and Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) and a four-pitch walk issued to Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.) from reliever Dan Feehan. The Huskies traded a run for a double play as Boykin raced home for RU’s second run of the contest. The reliever then got a comebacker to the mound to end the threat and seal the series win for UConn.
Brian Ward struck out five in 6.2 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed to earn the win and improve to 3-0, while Roe (3-7) struck out two in 5.2 innings with six runs allowed in the loss.
Lang finished the afternoon 1-for-3 to push his career hit total to 211 which moved him into a tie for ninth place on the Rutgers career hits list with current Oakland Athletics outfielder David DeJesus (1998-2000). The senior also scored a run in Sunday’s contest which moved him into a tie with Graig Badger (2001-04) for sixth place on the career runs list with 170.
Rutgers welcomes Temple to Piscataway on Tuesday for a noon game at Bainton Field.