PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 14, 2013) – Rutgers baseball scored four in the first inning and never looked back on the way to defeating Cincinnati, 7-2, to clinch the series Sunday at Bainton Field. Senior Charlie Law (Mainland, N.J.) allowed just one run over eight innings on the mound, while connecting for a three-run double at the plate.
RU improved to 8-4 in the BIG EAST with the win and 16-16 overall, while UC fell to 2-10 and 13-21. It was fourth straight series win for the Scarlet Knights over the Bearcats.
Law (3-3) picked up his third win of the year and first at home by allowing just three hits over eight innings. The right-hander racked up five strikeouts in the 113-pitch outing to bring his total up to a staff-leading 50 on the year. At the plate, he reached base in three-of-four appearances with a three-run double in the first. The senior leads the team with 26 RBIs this season.
Junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) had a productive day at the plate with two hits and two RBIs, while classmate Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) scored twice to go with two singles. Sophomore Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) continued his hot hitting with two knocks to go with a run and an RBI.
The Scarlet Knights jumped out early against UC starter Christian McElroy with four runs in the first inning. Freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) and junior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) both walked to put two on with one out and put the pressure on. Then Zarrillo slashed a single through the left side to plate Tietz for the first run of the day. After an out was recorded, senior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) drew another walk to load the bases for Law, who roped a three-run double into the left field corner. RU is now 13-2 when scoring first this season.
RU looked to add on in the bottom of the third with two on and no out, but McElroy snared a liner up the middle and started a 1-6-3 triple play to quash the rally.
The advantage was extended to 6-0 in the fourth with a pair of runs. Law worked a walk to leadoff on a 3-2 count and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from senior Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.). Sweeney then followed with an infield single to shortstop, as the throw to first went astray to allow Law to score. Following an out, Favatella struck a two-out base hit to left to chase home Sweeney for an unearned run.
After the Bearcats scored on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth, Favatella connected for an RBI double down the right field line to plate Sweeney in the bottom of the inning to get that run back.
UC rallied in the ninth to bring the tying run on deck, but senior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) entered out of the bullpen to record the final out and notch his sixth save of the year. He has earned a save in each of his last five appearances on the mound.
McElroy (2-4) took the loss after walking eight in 4.2 innings for Cincinnati. Ryan Quinn had two of the four hits for the visitors in the game.
Rutgers will return to action Tuesday at Lafayette with the first pitch set for 3:30 p.m. The next home contest is scheduled for Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. against Monmouth.
Favatella has started the last 119 games … RU is now 5-3 at home … the starting pitchers allowed five runs in 24.1 innings in the series … RU is now 16-5 all-time against UC, as both teams will be in the American Athletic Conference next year … Law is batting .500 (18-for-36) with runners in scoring position this year … he also worked a career-high eight innings in a win at Louisville … the Scarlet Knights are halfway through the league schedule … the game lasted 2:25 and was played with temperatures in the high 50s.