OMAHA, Neb. (April 26, 2013) – No. 24 Oklahoma State broke open a scoreless tie with four runs in the sixth inning to down Rutgers baseball, 4-1, in the opener of the TD Ameritrade Classic Friday. It was the first meeting between the teams since 1991, as the game was played at the site of the annual College World Series.
The Scarlet Knights move back to .500 at 20-20, while the Cowboys improve to 29-11 after the result.
Senior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) (4-4) was sharp in his first five innings on the mound for RU, giving up no runs and two hits to engage in a pitcher’s duel with OSU’s Mark Robinette. However, the left-hander took the loss after surrendering three RBI hits with two outs in the sixth. He struck out four in the start, which was the 40th of his career to move him into a tie for second in school history.
At the plate, junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 3-for-5 afternoon. It was his fourth game with three hits this season. Senior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) had two singles from the cleanup spot in the order, but Rutgers could not overcome 11 runners left on base against OSU pitching.
The Cowboys broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth to jump up 4-0. After a walk with two outs put two runners on, Tanner Krietemeier connected for an RBI single to plate the first run of the day. Following another walk, Zach Fish and Robbie Rea combined to knock in three more to bring in senior Nathaniel Roe (Plainfield, N.J.) from the bullpen. The right-hander got out of the jam when OSU unsuccessfully attempted a double steal with runners at the corners.
The Scarlet Knights averted the shutout in the ninth inning on an RBI single from freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) to knock in junior Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.). Clemente had singled as a pinch hitter and moved to second on an error to start the frame.
Robinette (4-0), a late change to the pitching rotation, earned the win with seven strikeouts in six shutout innings. Three OSU relievers finished out the game. Roe struck out two in 2.1 scoreless innings for RU.
Rutgers will continue play at the TD Ameritrade Classic Saturday at 8:05 p.m. EST versus Creighton. Senior Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) will make his first start of the season.
Favatella has started the last 127 games and has a hit in 19 of the last 20 games … it was the first regular season road game for RU since playing Monmouth in Greenville, N.C., March 13, 2011 … 13th game this season against a ranked opponent … the Scarlet Knights have drawn a walk in all 40 games this year … Melillo has now caught 14 runners stealing … the game lasted 2:42 and was played with temperatures in the high 60s.