LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (March 26, 2013) – Rutgers baseball fell behind early and could not recover, dropping a midweek contest at Rider, 9-3, Tuesday at Sonny Pittaro Field. It was the first game the Scarlet Knights played in the state of New Jersey this season.
The Broncs (11-9) used nine different pitchers in the game to keep the Scarlet Knights (8-12) off balance, with starter Jerry Mulderig (2-1) earning the win after tossing the first two frames. Junior Slater McCue (Radnor, Pa.) (0-1) suffered the loss in his second start of the year.
Rider jumped out in front with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the second. After an infield single and base hit put runners at the corners, Greg Fazio singled to bring home the first run of the day. Mike Parsons then connected for another RBI hit before James Locklear lined a two-run double to left to make it 4-0 in favor of the hosts.
In the next inning, the Broncs tacked on three more runs – two unearned – to extend their lead to 7-0. The rally only had one hit and was aided by a walk, hit by pitch and an error.
The Scarlet Knights scored three runs on a bases-clearing double by junior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) in the sixth to cut into the deficit. Junior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) walked to leadoff, with freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) singling and junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) walking to setup O’Grady.
However, the Scarlet Knights could not pick up a hit with the bases loaded in the eight down 7-3 to get any closer. Then Fazio connected for a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
O’Grady, Tietz and Melillo led Rutgers with two hits each, but the Scarlet Knights stranded nine on base in the defeat.
On the mound, freshman Reed Shuttle (Lansdale, Pa.) and senior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) worked a combined five innings with one earned run allowed out of the bullpen to keep the Scarlet Knights within striking distance.
Rutgers will resume BIG EAST play in its next game at Villanova Thursday.