CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 17, 2013) – Rutgers baseball fell behind early and could not recover, dropping the finale of the three-game series versus No. 28 Miami, 7-0, Sunday at Alex Rodriguez Park. It was the fifth-straight year RU and UM met to start the season.
The Scarlet Knights (0-3) put pressure on in the top of the first when the hitters forced UM starter Andrew Suarez to throw 27 pitches. Junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) doubled down the left field with one out and senior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) worked a walk two batters later to put two on with two down. However, Suarez buckled down and retired the side unscathed.
Miami (3-0) manufactured a pair of runs in the third to take a lead it would not relinquish. Tyler Palmer singled and Alex Hernandez walked to put two on with no outs, moving into scoring position on a wild pitch. Chantz Mack and David Thompson then recorded RBI groundouts to put UM up 2-0.
The Hurricanes added single runs in both the fourth and fifth to extend the lead, breaking open the game with a three-run seventh.
Favatella and senior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) each notched two hits to lead the offense, while sophomore Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) added a single to bring his total to six knocks for the weekend.
Senior Charlie Law (Mainland, N.J.) (0-1) suffered the loss in his first start since 2009, pitching six innings with four runs allowed. Suarez (1-0) earned the win for the hosts. Freshmen Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) and Reed Shuttle (Lansdale, Pa.) each looked sharp in their first career appearances, combining for 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Rutgers will look to bounce back next weekend in a three-game series at Old Dominion, starting Friday at 3 p.m.