PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 1, 2013) – After playing its first 23 games on the road, Rutgers baseball will open its home schedule with a pair of midweek games at Bainton Field. The Scarlet Knights will host Columbia Tuesday and Iona Wednesday, with both games set to start at 3:30 p.m.
The Scarlet Knights come into the week having won eight of their last 11, including a three-game sweep at Villanova over the weekend. The staff pitched two shutouts to start the series and did not allow a run for first 24.2 innings altogether. Senior Tyler Gebler (Toms River, N.J.) earned BIG EAST Pitcher of the week after tossing a three-hit shutout, as the starters have worked to a 1.42 ERA in six conference games.
Offensively, the bats broke through for 16 hits to tie a season-high in the series finale. Junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for going 7-for-13 (.538) with five runs and four RBIs in the series. Sophomore Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) also kept a hot bat with seven hits over the weekend.
Since opening the new playing surface at Bainton Field in 2007, RU is 5-1 in home openers at Bainton Field. Last year Ryan Fasano tossed a shutout to defeat Rider to propel the Scarlet Knights to a 14-6 home record.
The Lions (9-14, 2-2 Ivy League) opened Ivy League play over the weekend at home, winning two over Harvard and dropping two to Dartmouth. Having played a competitive schedule with trips to Miami, UCF and Lamar, the biggest win of the season came at defending national champion Arizona, 8-4, in the middle of a three game series. Head coach Brett Boretti is in his eighth season at the helm of the program.
The Gaels (3-23, 0-6 MAAC) have struggled to start the season and were recently swept by Canisus at home, being no-hit in the series finale. Christian Choman leads the offense with a .392 batting average, while reliever Kenny Dietrich has the most appearances out of the bullpen. Pat Carey is in his eighth season as head coach.
RU fell in midweek games to both Columbia and Iona last season. Traveling to take on the Lions, the game went into extra innings until CU won the game on a passed ball. RU leads the all-time series, 42-22. The Scarlet Knights could not hold a two-run lead in the ninth, losing to Iona, 5-4. Rutgers has won 21 of the 24 meetings in the series despite the setback.
Rutgers hosts rival Seton Hall at Bainton Field in the opener of a three-game series Friday at 3 p.m.