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Baseball Opens Season at FIU
  • Posted on February 13, 2014 11:06:22 PM
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  • Howie Brey will make the Opening Day start on the mound.


    PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 13, 2013) – Traveling south to escape the cold weather, Rutgers baseball is set to open its 2014 season with a four-game series at FIU starting Friday. It will be the sixth straight season the Scarlet Knights open the season in South Florida and 32nd consecutive playing at least one game in the Sunshine State. Rutgers will play 26 of its first 29 games on the road, including the first 10.

    Game 1: Friday, February 14
    First Pitch: 6 p.m.
    Rutgers Starter: LHP Howie Brey (0-0, 0.00)
    FIU Starter: RHP Mike Franco (0-0, 0.00)
    Live Stream: Link

    Game 2: Saturday, March 15
    First Pitch: 2 p.m.
    Rutgers Starter: RHP Jon Young (0-0, 0.00)
    FIU Starter: RHP Robby Kalaf (0-0, 0.00)
    Live Stream: Link

    Game 3: Saturday, March 15
    First Pitch: Approximately 45 minutes after game one
    utgers Starter: TBA
    FIU Starter: RHP Mike Ellis (0-0, 0.00)
    Live Stream: Link

    Game 4: Sunday, March 16
    First Pitch: 1 p.m.
    Rutgers Starter: RHP Kevin Baxter (0-0, 0.00)
    FIU Starter: TBA
    Live Stream: Link

    After earning a spot in the BIG EAST semifinals last season, Rutgers baseball looks to continue its tradition of success as a member of the American Athletic Conference in 2014. A new-look roster features 19 newcomers to go with 14 returning letterwinners.

    With veteran head coach Fred Hill on a leave of absence since the fall, acting head coach Joe Litterio will lead the way for the Scarlet Knights until further notice. An alumnus of the program, Litterio is in his third season back on staff at RU after spending 12 years as the head coach at Wagner.

    Click here to read the full season preview.

    Senior second baseman Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) has started the last 145 games dating back to his freshman season … sophomore pitcher Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) will make his first career start as the opening day starter … he led the team with 24 relief appearances last season … sophomore pitcher Jon Young (Old Bridge, N.J.) made three midweek starts last season and will get the ball in the second game … junior outfielder Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) was named Preseason All-American Athletic Conference in a vote of the league’s head coaches … he won the BIG EAST batting title last season after hitting .407 in conference games … a Scarlet Knight has won the conference batting title in three of the last four seasons … Favatella and senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) were named team captains … O’Grady ended last season reaching base in each of the last 14 games and hit .500 in the BIG EAST Tournament over four games.

    The Panthers, under the direction of head coach Turtle Thomas, went 26-32 last season and join Conference USA for the 2014 season. The team is led by CUSA Co-Preseason Player of the Year Aramis Garcia, who hit a team-leading 11 home runs last season and finished second in the nation with 28 runners caught stealing.

    The squad was picked sixth in the Preseason Conference USA Poll. Click here to read more about the Panthers.

    FIU leads the series over Rutgers, 32-15, but the Scarlet Knights swept a three-game series in Miami the last time the teams met in 2010. The Scarlet Knights have traditionally played teams in the area early in the season, including Miami, FAU and Florida Gulf Coast.

    Rutgers will return to the state of Florida next weekend to take on Jacksonville. The three-game series starts Friday, Feb. 21.

    Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding baseball, follow the program on Twitter @baseballRU and Tumblr.

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