PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 31, 2014) – Instead of traveling to play Columbia, Rutgers baseball will host Iona at Bainton Field Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Scarlet Knights will still travel to Iona Wednesday as scheduled to complete the newly created home-and-home midweek series.
Game 24: Tuesday, April 2
First Pitch: 3:30 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: LHP Ryan Fleming (0-0, 6.60)
Iona Starter: TBA
Live Stats: Link
Facing inclement weather all weekend, the Scarlet Knights (9-13) split a pair of conference games at UConn most recently. The third game was wiped out due to rain and field conditions. Redshirt freshman Kevin Baxter (Waterford, N.J.) earned his first career win in the opener by pitching five innings in relief Friday before the rain, as sophomore Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) entered the resumed game Saturday to pitch the final three innings for a save. Both senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) and junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) each reached base safely four times on the way to a 7-5 victory. The Huskies jumped out early and took the second game by the count of 11-4.
Redshirt freshman Kyle Driscoll (Toms River, N.J.) will get the start Tuesday after pitching to just one batter in the attempt to play the third game at UConn Saturday. Driscoll’s last official start was the conference opener at No. 7 Louisville when he worked five innings. Freshman Ryan Fleming (Churchville, Pa.) was forced to leave his start at UConn in the second inning due to injury, but has been slotted to go in the second game versus Iona.
Rutgers is third in the nation with 22 sacrifice flies this season, three behind the nation’s leader entering the week … the offense has scored with a runner on third and less than two outs 68 percent of the time … senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) has started the last 167 games, the sixth-longest active streak in the nation … Favatella has leads the team with 100 career RBIs and 212 career hits … Rutgers has scored in the first inning nine times this season, going 6-3 in those games and 7-4 when scoring first overall … freshmen have accounted for 72 percent of the innings pitched for the Scarlet Knights this season (117.2) … O’Grady has had 10 games with at least two hits and is seven hits shy of 200 for his career … he leads the American Athletic Conference with a .402 batting average … RU has the No. 7 strength of schedule nationally according to Boyd’s World and No. 13 by Warren Nolan … the Scarlet Knights are 90-53-1 at Bainton Field since it opened in 2007.
The Gaels (3-12, 1-2), a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, had their weekend rained out at Central Connecticut, last playing a game Friday versus Seton Hall. The team was held to two hits in an 8-0 defeat to the Pirates. Iona is hitting .217 as an offense has the pitching staff has worked to a 6.68 ERA.
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Rutgers has won 22 of its 25 meetings with Iona, including a 6-3 victory at Bainton Field last season. The Scarlet Knights scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth and collected 10 hits for the game.
After the home-and-home is completed Wednesday at Iona, RU will return home for its first weekend series at Bainton Field against No. 10 Houston starting Friday.