PISCATAWAY, NJ – One day after collecting 18 hits and scoring 18 runs, the Rutgers baseball team (1-1) was held in check, falling 11-4 to William & Mary in the second game of the three-game series. W&M starter Jeff Degenhart held the Scarlet Knights to just five hits, three by senior Graig Badger (Union, NJ), in seven shutout innings to pick up the win. With the loss, RU falls to 1-1, while W&M improves to 3-1.
The Tribe plated three in the second against RU starter Shaun Parker (Mt. Holly, NJ) on a three-run home run by Scott Padgett and sandwiched two more in the fifth around single runs in the fourth and sixth. Parker last five innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits, while walking four and striking out five. He was affected by an infield error in the second, two batters before the three-run shot, and hurt himself with an errant pickoff throw in the fifth, which played a role in two W&M runs. In the sixth, with freshman Steve Holt (Toms River, NJ) working his first inning in relief, catcher Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) threw wildly to first on a third strike, allowing the Tribe’s seventh run to score.
Rutgers finally scored in the seventh when Badger, who singled to open the inning, scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Rich Canuso (Monroe, NJ). Trailing 3-0, Rutgers had a legitimate scoring opportunity in the fourth, when Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) led off with a single and Canuso followed with a walk. A 4-6-3 double play quickly erased the threat and, although a walk put runners at the corners with two outs, Degenhart struck out Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) to end the inning. The Scarlet Knights added their final runs in the ninth on a two-run double by Badger and an RBI groundout from Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ).
“We came out flat today and (Jeff) Degenhart did a nice job of changing speeds and keeping us off balance,” said head coach Fred Hill. “They scored three early runs on us and we were never able to answer. The errors didn’t help our cause, but hopefully we will be ready to go tomorrow and win the final game of the series.”
Badger was 5-for-5 today, while Frazier, Hook and Mike Bionde (Pequannock, NJ) accounted for the other hits. Bionde (1-for-1) left the game in the bottom of the fourth with an injury which he incurred while diving for a base hit. Rutgers also made four errors and has committed six in the first two games of the season.
Rutgers and William & Mary will wrap up the series at 1:00 on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights will send junior Erik Dial (Basking Ridge, NJ) to the mound for his first collegiate start, while W&M will counter with lefty Forrest Cory (1-0). BOX SCORE