PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 7, 2014) – Rutgers baseball will head south to host Fordham Tuesday at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., home of the Lakewood BlueClaws. Admission is free and the gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
The Scarlet Knights will then return to Bainton Field to make up a game against Columbia Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The contest was originally scheduled for April 1 in New York, but will now be played in New Jersey.
Game 28: Tuesday, April 8
Location: FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood, N.J.)
First Pitch: 6:05 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: LHP Ryan Fleming (0-0, 7.50)
Fordham Starter: RHP Greg Weissert (1-0, 4.96)
Live Stats: GameTracker
FirstEnergy Park, a state-of-the-art facility, opened in 2001 when the BlueClaws came to Lakewood. The park features 6,588 reserve seats, 20 luxury suites, two party decks, three picnic areas, and a full video scoreboard, with a 23' x 23' video board that can play over 4.4 trillion shades of color in high definition. Concession stands will be open for the game.
Game 29: Wednesday, April 9
Location: Bainton Field (Piscataway, N.J.)
First Pitch: 3:30 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: RHP Reed Shuttle (1-0, 5.40)
Columbia Starter: By committee
Live Stats: GameTracker
The Scarlet Knights (11-16) are coming off a series against No. 10 Houston in which RU won the opener, 7-3, before dropping the next two. Rutgers currently has the No. 11 strength of schedule nationally according to Warren Nolan and No. 16 by Boyd’s World.
Junior Joe D’Annunzio (Scotch Plains, N.J.) led Rutgers in hitting at .417 last week, while freshman Tom Marcinczyk (Middlesex, N.J.) went 7-for-17 and junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) had a team-best .471 on-base percentage over the last five games. Seniors Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) and Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) both had home runs versus Houston. Rutgers is hitting .281 as a team for the season.
RU is undecided on the starts on the mound for the midweek games.
A freshman pitcher has started 22 of the 27 games this season … freshmen have accounted for 73 percent of innings pitched (165.1) … Favatella has started the last 172 games, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation … Favatella has reached base in 11 consecutive games … freshman Mike Carter (Bloomfield, N.J.) is riding a team-high nine-game hitting streak … RU is 10-3 this season when holding the opponent to five runs or less and 7-1 when limiting to four runs or less.
Rutgers dropped, 15-14, to Fordham (12-16) in a game that took 3:44 in the Bronx last season, but has taken three of the last five meetings. The Scarlet Knights defeated Columbia last year, 15-6, at Bainton Field. The Lions (11-15) won the 2013 Ivy League title and won a game in the NCAA Regionals.
RU will play a non-conference home series against Hartford this weekend. The set will begin with a 3 p.m. game Friday at Bainton Field.