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Baseball Ousted in Rubber Game at ODU, 12-6
Scarlet Knights record season-high 15 hits
  • Posted on March 02, 2014 6:36:17 PM
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  • Catcher Michael Zavala had three RBIs and three hits in the game.
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    Win-Ali (2-2) • Loss-Baxter (0-1) • Save-Gero (5) • T-3:05 •  A-532

    NORFOLK, Va. (March 2, 2014) – Despite a season-high 15 hits, Rutgers baseball dropped the rubber game of its series at Old Dominion, 12-6, Sunday at Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. Senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.), junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) and redshirt junior Michael Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) all recorded three hits for the Scarlet Knights, as five had at least two knocks.

    Zavala also collected three RBIs from the catcher position, while O’Grady came up a home run short of the cycle to finish the weekend with a .583 batting average and a 1.082 slugging percentage. Seniors Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) and Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) additionally had two hits in a balanced offensive attack.
     
    RU (3-6) held a 4-2 lead in the sixth, but was doomed by a five-run ODU (8-4) rally that included a pair of unearned runs. The Monarchs then added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth to put the game away, fending off late rally attempts by the Scarlet Knights.

    Dean Ali (2-2) earned the win for the hosts, with Brad Gero collecting the last four outs to pick up his fifth save. Redshirt freshman Kevin Baxter (Waterford, N.J.) (0-1) suffered the loss despite leaving with a lead. The right-hander logged 5.1 innings and struck out three in his 95-pitch outing.

    After Taylor Ostrich gave ODU a lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the second, Rutgers responded with three in the next half inning to take the lead. Favatella hit a ground-rule double with one out to start the rally, coming in on a single up the middle by O’Grady. Zarrillo then singled to center to move O’Grady to third and advanced into scoring position on the play. Zavala next roped a two-run single to give RU the advantage.

    The Monarchs rallied back for a run in the fourth on a two-out single, but Baxter settled down and escaped the inning to keep the advantage.

    That led to the fifth, where the Zarrillo and Zavala connected for back-to-back doubles to make the score 4-2. That would prove to be the last lead for RU, as five runs (two unearned) came across for ODU in the sixth.

    However, Rutgers did not back down in the seventh. O’Grady hit his second triple of the season into the right field corner and immediately came home on a double by Zarrillo. Then after ODU made it 9-6, Favatella scored senior Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.) on a two-out single to bring the tying run to the plate in the eighth. O’Grady attacked the first pitch and lifted a long fly ball to left field that was tracked down at the warning track, several feet shy of knotting the game at nine.

    Weather permitting, Rutgers is next scheduled to play Seton Hall at Bainton Field Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Scarlet Knight will then return to the road to take on Oklahoma in a series starting Friday.

    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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