DeLAND, Fla. (March 17, 2012) – No. 14 Stetson University scored four runs in bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit, shocking Rutgers University baseball on Saturday at Melching Field. The Scarlet Knights fall to 7-9 with the defeat.
Stetson (15-3) collected four hits in the deciding inning, including a walk-off single by Robert Crews with one out. The frame started with a groundout, but the Hatters picked up two singles and a walk to put the tying runs on base. Following an RBI single by Robert Bruce for the first run, Rutgers made a pitching change hoping to escape with the road win, however, an RBI fielder’s choice and the winning base hit by Crews proved to be the downfall for RU.
Lost in the shuffle, junior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) had his best start of the season, pitching seven shutout innings with only four hits allowed. The left-hander retired 12 batters in a row during a stretch from the third inning to the seventh.
Junior Jerry Elsing (Montville, N.J.) (0-1) took the loss for the Scarlet Knights, while Tucker Donahue (2-0) earned the win for Stetson.
Rutgers jumped out to the early lead with a run in both the first and second innings. Sophomore Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) came across first on a double play after singling to start the game. RU added a run in the second on an RBI single by junior Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.). Junior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) singled to start the rally, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. The first baseman immediately knocked in Zavala to give the Scarlet Knights the 2-0 advantage.
Zavala scored once again in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by sophomore Joe D’Annunzio (Scotch Plains, N.J.).
Sophomore Charlie Lasky (Freehold, N.J.) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, but the Hatters put together the winning rally in the ninth to clinch the series win.
The Scarlet Knights will look to take the series finale on Sunday with junior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) on the mound. It will be the final contest of a 17-game road trip to start the season. The Hatters will pitch Will Dorsey. The scheduled first pitch was moved up to 12 noon at Melching Field to accommodate travel.
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