PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 10, 2014) – Rutgers baseball will host its second series of the season when it takes on Hartford at Bainton Field this weekend. It will be the first non-conference home weekend series for the Scarlet Knights since 1997. WRSU will have the call of the series finale Sunday.
Access to the Livingston Campus will be limited early Sunday due to the Unite Half Marathon. Follow River Road to Cedar Lane to Road 2 to Suttons Lane to Road 3. Vehicles will be able to park in Lot 105. Vehicles will be able to access Lot 112 either from Lot 105 or from Rockafeller Road. The access route will be used until approximately 10:30 a.m. when the roads on the Livingston campus are scheduled to be open.
Game 30: Friday, April 11
First Pitch: 1 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: LHP Howie Brey (3-1, 1.69)
Hartford Starter: RHP Kyle Gauthier (3-0, 1.53)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Game 31: Saturday, April 12
First Pitch: 1 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: RHP Gaby Rosa (2-2, 4.25)
Hartford Starter: LHP Sean Newcomb (3-1, 0.78)
Live Stats: GameTracker
The Scarlet Knights (12-17, 3-5) most recently split two midweek games, including a 13-3 victory over Fordham at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., Tuesday. Senior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) reached four hits in a game for the second time this season, going 4-for-4 with a home run, three runs and three RBIs, as RU piled up a season-high 17 hits in the game. Rutgers followed that game up with a home loss to defending Ivy League champion Columbia.
Led by a .361 batting average by senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.), RU is second in the conference with a .284 team mark. Junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) (.339) and Sweeney (.333) are also both over .300 for the season, while senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) has reached base safely in each of the last 13 games. The offense also is second in the league with a .384 slugging percentage, accounting a conference-high 13 triples in 29 games.
On the mound, sophomore Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) will start the series opener for the fifth time this season. The left-hander worked five innings and gave up two runs to defeat No. 10 Houston in his last start, bringing his ERA to 1.69. Freshman Gaby Rosa (Perth Amboy, N.J.) will make his fifth start of the year in the second game this weekend. Out of the bullpen, junior Jon Young (Old Bridge, N.J.) leads the team with 12 appearances and six saves, while redshirt freshman Max Herrmann (Rutherford, N.J.) has allowed opponents to hit just .232 against over 22.1 innings of relief.
A freshman pitcher has started 22 games this season and freshmen have accounted for 72 percent of innings pitched (177.0) … Favatella has started the last 174 games, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation … he is fifth in program history with 710 at bats, tied for seventh with 220 career hits and seventh with 13 career triples … O’Grady is eighth in school history with 675 at bats and comes into the series with 199 career hits … RU is 11-3 this season when holding the opponent to five runs or less and 8-1 when limiting to four runs or less … the offense has scored 31 runs in the first inning, the most of any frame … Young’s six saves tie him for eighth-most in a single season in school history … Zarrillo leads the team with 12 games picking up at least two hits, also pacing the team with a .447 average with runners in scoring position … the offense has scored with a runner on third and less than two outs 68 percent of the time.
The Hawks (17-11, 5-1) are a member of the America East Conference and swept Maine in a conference series last weekend. The pitching staff is a team strength, as the group has worked to a 2.58 ERA this season. Saturday starter Sean Newcomb has permitted only four earned runs over 46.0 innings, while closer Alex Gouin has seven saves and a 0.51 ERA. The offense is hitting .232 as a unit. Head coach Justin Blood is in his third season.
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The two programs have never met on the baseball diamond. This is the third team so far this season the Scarlet Knights are meeting for the first time (Buffalo, Houston).
RU will continue its homestand with a Tuesday game against Lafayette at Bainton Field. The conference schedule will resume next Thursday to start a home series versus Cincinnati.