ATLANTA (March 3, 2012) – Rutgers University baseball battled No. 9 Georgia Tech throughout the day but could not overcome an early deficit, dropping the middle game of the series, 9-4, on Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets clinched the series victory with today’s result.
Junior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) and senior Patrick Kivlehan (West Nyack, N.Y.) each recorded a single and a double to lead the RU offensive attack. The Scarlet Knights picked up seven hits on the day.
Matt Grimes (2-1) earned the win for GT with six innings pitched, while junior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) (1-2) suffered the loss in six innings of work for the Scarlet Knights.
Georgia Tech (9-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead through three innings, but Rutgers responded with two runs in the fourth inning to close the gap. Sophomore Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) and freshman Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) both walked to start the frame, and after a fielder’s choice, junior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) scored O’Grady with an RBI groundout. With two outs, Zavala roped a single up the middle to score the second run of the day for Rutgers.
Smorol kept the game at 3-2 until GT came through with a two-out two-run double by Connor Lynch to extend the lead to three runs through six frames.
After a Georgia Tech pitching change, the Scarlet Knights rallied for two runs in the seventh inning. Junior Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.) singled and Kivlehan doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Sophomore Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) and O’Grady each notched RBI groundouts to push the two runners across the plate.
However, the Yellow Jackets broke the game open with three-run home run in the bottom of the inning by Jake Davies, setting the final score at 9-4 in favor of the home team.
Junior Jerry Elsing (Montville, N.J.) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers (3-5) will look to take the series finale on Sunday with junior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) (1-1) on the mound. The lefty, who pitched seven scoreless innings last week at Old Dominion, will be opposed by Dusty Isaacs (2-0). First pitch at Russ Chandler Stadium is set for 1 p.m.
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