PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 17, 2013) – Freshman Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) pitched the final 3.1 innings scoreless to earn a save and help Rutgers baseball defeat Monmouth, 7-6, Wednesday at Bainton Field. Junior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) and senior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) each had three hits to lead a 16-hit offensive attack.
The Scarlet Knights have now won four of the last five to move to two games over .500 for the first time this season at 18-16, while the Hawks dropped to 21-14. RU improved to 6-3 at home.
Reaching double-digit hits for the 17th time this season, six Rutgers hitters had multiple-hit games to help put at least one runner on in every inning. Freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) had two of the team’s six doubles.
Brey, making his 14th appearance in relief this year, retired the first eight batters he faced and worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the ninth to pick up his first career save. Junior Charlie Lasky (Freehold, N.J.) (2-0) earned his fifth career win without a defeat after permitting one run over 2.2 innings.
RU jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two just as it did Tuesday at Lafayette. In the first inning, Zavala worked a walk with the bases loaded and two outs to force in O’Grady for the first run of the day. Then in the second, Tietz and junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) hit back-to-back doubles with two outs. O’Grady followed with an RBI single of his own.
However, Monmouth fought back with a run in the third and four in the fourth to put the Scarlet Knights down 5-3.
That deficit would not last for long as junior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) doubled to start the bottom of the fourth and came home on a failed pickoff throw to first three batters later that advanced Favatella into scoring position. O’Grady next connected for a single and sophomore Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) hit a sacrifice fly into left field to tie the game.
Rutgers went back ahead with two more in the fifth. Zavala doubled to left-center to leadoff and scored immediately on a two-bagger by senior Charlie Law (Mainland, N.J.). The hit parade continued as junior Ross Costello (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) roped an RBI single into center field.
The Hawks rallied to score one in the sixth, but Brey entered and induced a groundout to strand the tying run on base. From there, the rookie settled in and kept MU off the board and finished out the game. He allowed two singles in the ninth, but induced a grounder and foul pop to end the threat.
Adam Yuninger (4-1) took the loss for Monmouth, who has dropped the last two to RU. Leadoff hitter Jake Gronsky led the visitors with a 3-for-5 afternoon at the plate.
The Scarlet Knights will look to continue their winning ways this weekend in a road BIG EAST series at No. 25 Pittsburgh. The first game is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.
It was the third one-run win for RU this year … Zavala went 6-for-9 with four runs in the two midweek games … Favatella has started the last 121 games dating back to his freshman season … Rutgers has drawn 49 walks over the last six games … Pat O’Leary made his second start of the season and picked up a no-decision … Law has recorded an RBI in 11 of the last 12 games to increase his total to a team-high 29 … the game last 2:58 and was played with temperatures reaching the 70s.