WILLIAMSBURG, VA - With the game tied at 11-11 in the bottom of the eighth, John Lentz drilled a tie-breaking, RBI triple and Chris Rahl followed with a run-scoring single against RU reliever OJ DeChristofano (Pompton Plains, NJ) to lift William & Mary to a 13-11 win over Rutgers in the series finale this afternoon. The Scarlet Knights built a 6-0 lead after three at bats, but allowed nine runs in the third, thanks to six defensive miscues, and spent the rest of the game battling back. With the loss, RU falls to 1-2, while W&M improves to 4-1.
Rutgers got on the board early, scoring two quick runs in the first. Graig Badger (Union, NJ) led off with a sharp single to center and Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) stung a single down the right-field line to put runners at the corners with no outs. A one-out walk to Rich Canuso (Monroe, NJ) loaded the bases for Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ), who hit a high chopper to third. W&M third baseman Lentz fired wildly towards the plate, allowing both Badger and Grose to score. RU threatened for more, but a base-running gaffe resulting in a double play ended the inning. Rutgers then used some two-out magic in the second to add onto its lead, as Grose doubled home Jeff Miller (Wyckoff, NJ), who reached on a one-out walk, and Badger (walk) to increase the lead to 4-0. RU added two more runs in the top of the third on back-to-back RBI singles from Miller and Jason Grover (Montgomery, NJ) to take a 6-0 lead, chasing W&M starter Forrest Cory in the process.
After escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second, a defensive meltdown in the third by the Scarlet Knights allowed W&M to take a seven-run lead. Rutgers committed six errors in the inning, botching three double play opportunities, which led to eight unearned runs. RU, however, bounced back with two in the fifth on an RBI double from Badger and a bases-loaded, sacrifice fly from Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ), who missed a grand slam by only a few feet to straightaway centerfield. W&M then added a single run in the bottom of the inning to increase its lead to 10-8, only to see Rutgers add two more in the top of the sixth to tie the game, 10-10, on a sac fly by Miller and an RBI single from Grover.
The Tribe reclaimed the lead, 11-10, in the bottom of the inning on a two-out single from Jon Rhymes but Rutgers responded with a single run in the seventh when Grose singled, moved to second on a walk to Frazier, over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Canuso and scampered home on a wild pitch.
Rutgers banged out 16 hits, including a five-hit effort from Grose. Grover added three hits, while Rodriguez and Badger chipped in with two each.
RU returns to action next Friday, Feb. 27, when it opens a three-game series with Old Dominion in Norfolk. BOX SCORE