PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 30, 2014) – After two consecutive rainouts, Rutgers baseball will return to the diamond to host Iona Thursday (3:30 p.m.) at Bainton Field. It will be the third meeting between the two programs this season.
Game 42: Thursday, May 1
First Pitch: 3:30 p.m.
Rutgers Starter: LHP Ryan Fleming (2-0, 6.89)
Iona Starter: TBA
Live Stats: GameTracker
The Scarlet Knights (19-22, 6-8) most recently dropped three conference games at first-place UCF over the weekend. Senior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) led RU with a .615 on-base percentage for the series and is hitting 13-for-31 (.419) over his last 10 games to take over the team batting lead at .358. On the mound, sophomore Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) pitched his first career complete game in the opener, while redshirt freshman Max Herrmann (Rutherford, N.J.) tossed three innings without an unearned run out of the bullpen in game two. Herrmann has allowed just two earned runs over his last seven appearances and 16.2 innings (1.08 ERA).
Freshman Ryan Fleming (Churchville, Pa.) will make his ninth start of the season against Iona. The left-hander has wins over Fordham and Lafayette, both home appearances. The Scarlet Knights are 11-4 overall in home games this season.
Both of Rutgers scheduled games this week against Villanova and Monmouth were canceled due to inclement weather … a freshman pitcher has started 31 games this season and freshmen have accounted for 70 percent of innings pitched (246.1) … senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) has started the last 186 games, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation … Favatella (232, fourth) and classmate Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) (212, 11th) have both eclipsed 200 career hits this season and are among the all-time leader in hits in school history … the team has connected for 19 triples this season (sixth-most nationally), sixth-most in a season in school history through only 38 games … RU is 18-5 this season when holding the opponent to five runs or less and 15-3 when limiting teams to four runs or less … RU is fourth in the nation with 31 sacrifice flies, two off the leader … the last six wins for RU have ended with a save, as the team is up to 13 for the season (tied for fourth-most in a year in school history).
Despite winning a weekend series over Niagara, the Gaels (8-25, 5-9 MAAC) are currently last in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Chris Russo leads Iona at the plate with a .379 batting average in limited at bats, while Christian Choman has driven in 12 runs this season. The Gaels are batting .233 as a team this season and have pitched to a 5.16 ERA.
In their most recent matchup this season, Iona defeated Rutgers at home, 6-4, on April 2. RU dropped the Gaels, 7-5, the day before on April 1 in the confines of Bainton Field. In that contest, redshirt freshman pitcher Kyle Driscoll (Toms River, N.J.) tossed five scoreless innings in his first career home start to earn the win. The complete recap of that game can be found here.
Rutgers leads the all-time series against Iona, 23-5, and is 8-2 in its last 10 games against the Gaels
RU will host Temple in a three-game series at Bainton Field starting Friday. The team will shave their heads after the series finale to benefit the Vs. Cancer Foundation and awareness for pediatric cancer.