PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 1, 2012) – Rutgers University baseball will take on its second nationally-ranked ACC opponent in three weeks when it travels to Atlanta for a three-game weekend series against No. 9 Georgia Tech, starting Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 41-11 going back to 1988.
Georgia Tech will provide live stats via GameTracker for the series, with WREK calling all three games on radio. In addition, a live video stream will be available for a fee on Ramblin Wreck All Access. Links will be offered at ScarletKnights.com.
Friday, 4 p.m. – RHP Ryan Fasano (RU) vs. RHP Buck Farmer (GT)
Saturday, 2 p.m. – LHP Rob Smorol (RU) vs. RHP Matt Grimes (GT)
Sunday, 1 p.m. – LHP Rob Corsi (RU) vs. RHP Dusty Isaacs (GT)
Rutgers (3-3) picked up its first wins of the season with a three-game sweep at Old Dominion last weekend. Timely hitting and effective pitching were the keys to success as the team hit .385 (15-39) with runners in scoring position and .489 (23-47) with two outs and only allowed 10 earned runs and four walks. RU overcame a 6-3 deficit in the opener, highlighted by a key two-out double by junior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) to tie the score at six. The go-ahead run scored on an error as senior Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) pitched 3.1 scoreless innings to earn the win. Junior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) also recorded four hits.
The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 9-0 lead in game two and held on late to win 11-8. Junior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) picked up the win with 7.0 innings pitched with only three hits and two earned runs allowed. Steve Zavala hit his first-career home run in the five-run fifth inning that broke the game open. Junior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) tossed seven scoreless innings and Nick Favatella knocked in two runs to win the finale, 5-1.
Georgia Tech (7-2) has won seven of their last eight after dropping the season opener against Kent State, including a series win over Ohio State at Russ Chandler Stadium last weekend. The Yellow Jackets most recently defeated Kennesaw State at home on Wednesday night, 11-5. Daniel Palka leads the team offensively with eight of his 13 hits going for extra bases for a .743 slugging percentage. Matt Grimes leads the pitching staff with a 1.00 ERA, while Dusty Isaacs and Cole Pitts each have two wins. The program is led by 19th-year head coach Danny Hall.
Senior Ryan Fasano (Stony Point, N.Y.) (0-0) will make the Friday start for RU after pitching two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to close out the Sunday win at Old Dominion. In his first start of the season at No. 13 Miami, the righty went 6.2 innings with only one earned run allowed. His 1.04 ERA is tied with Beard for the third-lowest in the BIG EAST through two weeks. Smorol (1-1) and Corsi (1-1) are slated to start the Saturday and Sunday games, respectively, after earning wins last weekend. Corsi was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday.
The Yellow Jackets have won the last 10 in the series, including a three-game sweep in Atlanta last season. RU’s last win over GT was a 10-6 victory on Feb. 29, 2008. This is the 10th-straight year the teams have played one another.
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