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Baseball Finishes Off Win at UConn, 7-5
Baxter earns first career victory
  • Posted on March 28, 2014 6:53:54 PM
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  • Kevin Baxter tossed five innings of relief to earn his first career win.
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    Win-Baxter (1-3) • Loss-Kay (2-1) • Save-Brey (1) • T-3:18 • A-87 • J.O. Christian Field


    STORRS, Conn. (March 29, 2014) – Resuming the game after it was halted Friday due to rain, Rutgers baseball finished off a 7-5 victory over UConn Saturday at J.O. Christian Field.

    Redshirt freshman Kevin Baxter (Waterford, N.J.) (1-3) earned his first career victory with five innings of effective relief. Sophomore Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) took over following the delay and gave up just one run over three frames to earn his first save of the season and second in his career.

    Offensively, senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) and junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) each reached base four times, while senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) and junior Joe D’Annunzio (Scotch Plains, N.J.) also had two hits. RU out-hit UConn 10-6 in the ballgame.

    The Huskies took the early lead with an unearned run in the first and a solo home run by Blake Davey in the third to go up 2-0. The Scarlet Knights responded from there to score six unanswered runs.

    Rutgers tied the game in the fourth with a pair of runs off UConn starter Anthony Kay. The inning started when Favatella beat out an infield single and O’Grady followed by drawing a four-pitch walk. After a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position and a strikeout, D’Annunzio lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Favatella. Freshman Christian Campbell (Sayreville, N.J.) next stepped up and lined a ball down the right field line for a two-out RBI double.

    After Baxter tossed a perfect bottom of the fourth, RU batted around to score four times to take its first lead of the game. Both Sweeney and sophomore R.J. Devish (Beachwood, N.J.) were hit by a pitch to start, with Zarrillo slashing a single up the middle to load the bases. Favatella then drove a deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly for his 100th career RBI, also moving Devish to third. Next, O’Grady walked and senior Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.) went to a full count before eventually drawing ball four for an RBI base on balls. Following a pitching change, D’Annunzio grounded a ball to third that was thrown home for a force play, but  the relay to first was thrown away to allow O’Grady to come home. Clemente scored the fourth run of the inning when a throwing error to first allowed Campbell to reach.

    Bobby Melley hit a two-run home run for UConn to cut the game to 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth. However, Rutgers scored one back on an RBI single by Zarrillo to go up 7-4.

    The Huskies scored a run with two outs in the ninth, but Brey secured the win with a strikeout for the final game.

    Baxter entered in the second inning in relief of freshman starter Ryan Fleming (Churchville, Pa.), who was injured. Baxter stranded the inherited runner left behind and has given up three hits, three walks and three earned runs over five innings from the dugout.

    Kay (2-1) took the loss for the Huskies.

    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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