CLEARWATER, Fla. (May 23, 2012) – Rutgers University baseball dropped its opening game of the 2012 BIG EAST Championships to Seton Hall University, 6-1, on Wednesday at Bright House Field. Sophomores Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) and Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) each collected three hits from the top of the order.
Rutgers (31-24) will next face the loser of the Notre Dame-St. John’s game on Thursday, May 24 at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.
The Scarlet Knights recorded eight hits in the contest, but stranded 12 runners on base in the defeat.
Jon Prosinski (9-3) earned the win for the Pirates with one run allowed in six innings of work. Junior Tyler Gebler (Toms River, N.J.) suffered the loss after surrendering four runs in five frames on the mound.
Seton Hall (33-22) took advantage of a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead after one inning, but Rutgers put together two singles and a walk to tie the game in the top of the third. Sophomore Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) drew a walk on a full count to reach base and moved up to third on a single to right-center by O’Grady. Favatella then laced an RBI single through the left side to score Sweeney, tying the score at one.
However, Seton Hall responded with three runs with two outs to take a 4-1 lead after three innings. Scott Kalamar had the big hit, coming through with a two-run double to right-center. In the sixth, Dillon Hamlin homered to add an insurance run, while SHU also put up another run in the eighth to set the final score.
Rutgers loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Henry Warner escaped the jam to pick up his first save of the season.
Junior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) (8-3) will pitch for the Scarlet Knights on Thursday with the season on the line. The left-hander led the BIG EAST with six conference victories this season.
Today marked the 12th appearance in the BIG EAST Championships for Rutgers … it was the first neutral site game for RU this season and 12th in the state of Florida … O’Grady and Favatella have had three hits in nine and three games this season, respectively … the game started at 10 a.m. with temperatures rising into the 90s throughout the game.
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