LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – It took 10 innings to accomplish, but the Rutgers baseball team defeated Rider, 9-8, to reach the 30-win mark for the seventh-straight season. " />
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Cerulo’s Bat and Malafronte’s Arm Rally Rutgers Past Rider, 9-8
SCARLET KNIGHTS REACH 30-WIN MARK FOR SEVENTH-CONSECUTIVE SEASON
  • Posted on May 18, 2004 12:00:00 AM
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  • LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – It took 10 innings to accomplish, but the Rutgers baseball team defeated Rider, 9-8, to reach the 30-win mark for the seventh-straight season. Senior Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ), inserted into the lineup in the fourth inning, drilled a two-out, RBI triple in the 10th to drive in the winning run, capping a 3-for-3 afternoon. Junior Tom Malafronte (Somerville, NJ) picked up his first win of the season, hurling 3.1 perfect innings of relief, striking out three. Today’s game also marked the final meeting between Rider head coach Sonny Pittaro, who is retiring at the end of the season, and RU head coach Fred Hill.

    The Scarlet Knights rallied from a 4-0, third-inning deficit as the Broncs reached RU starter Shaun Parker (Mt. Holly, NJ) for four runs (three unearned) in 2.2 innings. Parker, making his first appearance since April 17, was roughed up for six hits, but also threw well at times, striking out three.

    In the fourth, Rutgers tied the game, taking advantage of inning-opening walks to Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) and Cory Rodriguez (Bridgewater, NJ). Junior Jason Grover (Montgomery, NJ), with runners at the corners, poked an RBI single and Graig Badger (Union, NJ) followed with an RBI double to close the gap to 4-2. An infield groundout from Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ), followed by a run-scoring double by Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ), tied the game.

    The Broncs took a 6-4 lead when Scott Rich drilled a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, but Rutgers cut the lead to 6-5 when Cerulo singled, stole second, advanced to third and scored on Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth. After Rider left the bases loaded in the fifth, RU then took a 7-6 lead in the sixth on another RBI double from Frazier, who moved to third on a single from Rich Canuso (Monroe, NJ) and scored on a wild pitch.

    In the bottom of the seventh, Rider reclaimed the lead, its third of the game, in semi-dramatic fashion. With runners on first and third and one out, Pittaro sent a left-handed pinch-hitter to the plate, prompting Hill to call upon Matt Pustay (Hamilton, NJ) for a lefty-lefty matchup. Pittaro countered by inserting another pinch-hitter, Jordan McCreedy, who lined a ball into right field. With the ball tailing towards the line, Frazier dove but came up short, as both runners scored for an 8-7 lead and McCreedy chugged into third with a triple. A pair of outstanding catches in foul territory, wrapped around an intentional walk to Rich, stranded McCreedy at third.

    Rutgers pushed across the tying run in the eighth when Frazier led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Canuso and scored on a sharp single to left by Cerulo. In the ninth, Rodriguez led off for the Scarlet Knights with a towering triple to left-center, but was stranded by Joe Ambler, who induced a pair of infield groundouts and a popup.

    In the 10th, however, Frazier led off with another single, his fourth hit of the game, but was thrown out trying to steal. Two batters later, Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) singled to left and scored when Cerulo roped his 13th career triple into the gap in right-center. In the bottom of the inning, Malafronte closed out his stellar outing with a pair of groundouts and a strikeout of Rich.

    Frazier led RU with a 4-for-5 effort, while Cerulo was 3-for-3. Both knocked in two runs.

                                  ** 2004 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                  Rutgers at Rider University
                               May 18, 2004 at Lawrenceville, NJ
    
    Rutgers 9 (30-20)                             Rider University 8 (21-27)
    
    Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
    ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
    BADGER, Graig 2b...........  5  2  1  1       Scott Rich rf..............  5  2  3  2
    GROSE, Jeff lf.............  5  0  0  1       Tom Letizia dh.............  6  1  1  0
    FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  5  2  4  2       Jonathan Rehm 2b...........  4  1  2  1
    CANUSO, Rich 1b............  5  0  1  0       Sean Whalen c..............  5  1  1  1
    GAYNOR, Colin c............  5  1  1  0       Gene Crimoli 1b............  5  1  2  1
    DEFENDIS, Johnny cf........  1  0  0  0       Mike Poalise cf............  5  0  2  1
     CERULO, Nick pr...........  3  2  3  2       Bryan Wagner ss............  4  1  1  0
    HOOK, Steve dh.............  3  0  0  0       Justin Squashic lf.........  3  0  1  0
     MILLER, Jeff dh...........  2  0  0  0        Charles Van Schaick ph....  0  0  0  0
    RODRIGUEZ, Cory 3b.........  2  1  1  1        Jordan McCreedy ph........  1  0  1  2
    GROVER, Jason ss...........  3  1  1  1        Ryan Marchini pr..........  0  0  0  0
    PARKER, Shaun p............  0  0  0  0        Eric D'Alessandro lf......  1  0  0  0
     RINI, Chris p.............  0  0  0  0       Justin Roszkowski 3b.......  3  1  0  0
     DIAL, Erik p..............  0  0  0  0       Mike Dyszel p..............  0  0  0  0
     PUSTAY, Matt p............  0  0  0  0        Erik Holck p..............  0  0  0  0
     MALAFRONTE, Tom p.........  0  0  0  0        Justin Cocliff p..........  0  0  0  0
                                                   Joe Ambler p..............  0  0  0  0
    Totals..................... 39  9 12  8       Totals..................... 42  8 14  8
    
    Score by Innings                      R  H  E
    ---------------------------------------------
    Rutgers............. 000 412 010 1 -  9 12  1
    Rider University.... 103 200 200 0 -  8 14  2
    ---------------------------------------------
    
    E - Grover; Wagner; Dyszel. DP - S.Knights 1. LOB - S.Knights 13; Broncs 9. 2B -
    Badger; Frazier 2; Crimoli; Poalise. 3B - Cerulo; Rodriguez; McCreedy. HR - Rich.
    HBP - Gaynor; Hook; Grover. SH - Canuso; Grover. SF - Rodriguez. SB - Badger;
    Frazier 2; Defendis; Cerulo; Rehm. CS - Frazier; Poalise.
    
    Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PARKER, Shaun .............   2.2  6  4  1  0  3   0  0  0  0   14 14   1  3
    RINI, Chris ...............   2.0  4  2  2  3  4   0  0  0  0   10 13   0  2
    DIAL, Erik ................   1.2  3  2  2  1  0   0  0  0  0    6  7   1  2
    PUSTAY, Matt ..............   0.1  1  0  0  1  0   0  0  0  1    2  3   1  0
    MALAFRONTE, Tom  W,1-1.....   3.1  0  0  0  0  3   0  0  0  0   10 10   3  4
    
    Rider University               IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mike Dyszel ...............   4.1  4  5  5  4  3   1  0  3  0   18 25   5  5
    Erik Holck ................   2.2  2  2  2  3  1   1  0  0  0    8 13   4  2
    Justin Cocliff ............   0.2  2  1  1  0  0   0  0  0  0    3  4   1  1
    Joe Ambler  L,4-2..........   2.1  4  1  1  0  1   0  0  0  0   10 10   2  3
    
    WP - Dyszel; Holck. HBP - by Dyszel (Gaynor); by Dyszel (Grover); by Dyszel (Hook). PB -
    Gaynor.
    
    Strikeouts - Grose; Gaynor; Hook 2; Miller; Rich; Crimoli 3; Poalise 2; Wagner 2;
    Squashic; Roszkowski. Walks - Badger; Grose; Frazier; Defendis; Cerulo; Rodriguez 2;
    Rich; Rehm; Wagner; Roszkowski 2.
    
    Umpires -
    Start: 1:00pm   Time: 3:16   Attendance: 410
    
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