PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 27, 2013) – After winning two games in a rain-shortened series at Jacksonville, Rutgers baseball is set to hit the road again to take on Old Dominion in a three-game set starting with a doubleheader Saturday at Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. It will be the 17th straight season RU and ODU meet on the diamond.
After picking up two wins in Jacksonville by the cumulative score of 16-4, Rutgers (2-4) looks to continue its momentum. The Scarlet Knights received two strong starts on the mound, as sophomore Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) struck out five in six scoreless innings in the opener and redshirt freshman Kyle Driscoll (Toms River, N.J.) surrendered only two runs in the nightcap. Junior Jon Young (Old Bridge, N.J.) tossed three scoreless innings for a save in relief of Brey, while redshirt freshman Max Herrmann (Rutherford, N.J.), sophomore Reed Shuttle (Lansdale, Pa.) and freshman TJ Perkowski (South Brunswick, N.J.) all provided a scoreless inning of relief out of the bullpen for Driscoll.
At the plate, the offense jumped out early to take leads in the first inning, including a seven-run first in game two. Senior Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.) connected for a home run, as he has a .611 on-base percentage and .462 batting average through two weeks. Classmate Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) also has gotten off to a hot start with a .409 average with a .636 slugging percentage. RU out-hit Jacksonville, 23-14, in the two-game series.
Freshman Mike Carter (Bloomfield, N.J.) is the only Scarlet Knight to pick up a hit in each of the first six games, hitting .364 from the leadoff spot … Clemente has also reached base in every game, as he has drawn a team-leading five walks … freshman Christian Campbell (Sayreville, N.J.) has also started off his collegiate career over .300 at .333 in five games … RU has used 14 newcomers so far … the Scarlet Knights used nine freshmen pitchers during the opening weekend, the most in the nation … senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) has started the last 151 games dating back to his freshman season.
SCOUTING OLD DOMINION
The Monarchs (6-3), under the direction of third-year head coach Chris Finwood, went 30-24 last season and finished tied for third in the CAA at 15-12. The team has wins over Radford, Liberty, VCU, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s and Richmond this season. The offense is led by senior infielder Jordan Negrini, who is batting .419 with five RBIs through nine games. On the mound, ODU has pitched to a 3.15 ERA with all three scheduled starters under 2.90.
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RU and ODU have a long history, with the Scarlet Knights leading the series, 31-17. Rutgers won two of the three games last season in Norfolk, Va., including a 17-7 victory to clinch the weekend. RU has won nine of the last 10 matchups.
Rutgers will host Seton Hall in its home opener on March 5 at 3 p.m. before heading out to Oklahoma for a three-game series against the Sooners next weekend.