MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A two-run home run from Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) jumpstarted Rutgers’ offense, which scored seven runs in the first three innings en route to a 13-2 win over Minnesota tonight at the Metrodome. " />
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Rutgers Slugs Its Way to 13-2 Win over Minnesota
PITCHING OF DECHRISTOFANO, EARLY-INNING SCORING END THREE-GAME SKID
  • Posted on March 18, 2005 12:00:00 AM
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  • MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A two-run home run from Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) jumpstarted Rutgers’ offense, which scored seven runs in the first three innings en route to a 13-2 win over Minnesota tonight at the Metrodome. Despite a winter storm that dropped over seven inches of snow in Minneapolis during the day, the Scarlet Knights played under balmy conditions inside the Dome, evening its record at 7-7 behind the standout pitching of junior OJ DeChristofano (Pequannock, NJ). Minnesota is now 4-8.

    Rutgers had scored just eight total runs in its previous three games, but scored seven in the first three innings tonight. Its pitching staff had allowed an average of 10.9 runs per game over the last seven contests, but received a great effort from Dechristofano (2-1), who allowed four hits and one run in seven innings, walking three and striking out three in arguably the best starting effort in two weeks.

    "We need to come out and score early, which we did, and it allowed OJ to settle in and pitch the way he is capable of," said RU head coach, who picked up his first win vs. the Gophers in four career tries. "It made a big difference to play with a lead, instead of falling into an early hole like we have in the past."

    Rutgers scored three in the first following two quick outs, as Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) drew a walk against UM starter Matt Loberg and Hook unloaded a two-run shot, his third of the season, to the right of the 408-foot sign in center field. Cory Rodriguez (Bridgewater, NJ), Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) and David Williams (Franklin, NJ) followed with three-straight singles to account for the third and final run in the opening inning.

    In the second, again with two outs, Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) walked, Gaynor singled and Hook was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Defendis and Rodriguez stroked back-to-back singles to increase the lead to 6-0, while Hook scored on a throwing error. In the third, RU upped its lead to 7-0 as Tim Querns (Cherry Hill, NJ), who reached on a one-out double, scored when UM catcher Jake Elder’s return throw ricocheted off of Grose’s helmet for an unearned run.

    After a scoreless fourth, the Scarlet Knights went back to work in the fifth as Williams opened with a single and scored on Querns’ second double of the contest for an 8-0 lead.

    DeChristofano, meanwhile, kept the Golden Gophers in check through the first five innings, allowing just two hits and no runs. He was nicked for a run in the sixth when UM wrapped a pair of singles around a walk to produce its first run as Elder delivered the RBI single. Dechristofano, who departed after a 1-2-3 seventh, also helped his own cause with four stellar defensive plays off the mound, including two which ended the inning and saved runs.

    In the top of the eighth, the Scarlet Knights loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Querns, Frazier and Grose and eventually scored four runs, increasing its lead to 12-1, highlighted by an errant pickoff throw which allowed two runs to score and a single from Hook. RU sent 10 hitters to the plate in the inning and produced six singles.

    Defendis led RU with a 4-for-6 effort, while Rodriguez and Querns added three hits. Hook was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

    The teams reconvene at 2:00 p.m. (CT) tomorrow. RU sophomore Steve Holt (Toms River, NJ) will make his first collegiate start, opposed by UM’s Cole DeVries.

                                The Automated ScoreBook
                                  Rutgers at Minnesota
                      Mar 18, 2005 at Minneapolis, MN (Metrodome)
    
    Rutgers 13 (7-7)
    
    Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
    ------------------------------------------------------
    FRAZIER, Todd ss.........  6  1  1  0   0  2  3  5   0
    GROSE, Jeff lf...........  5  2  2  0   1  1  1  0   1
    GAYNOR, Colin dh.........  4  2  1  0   1  0  0  0   0
     HILL, Ryan ph/dh........  1  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
    HOOK, Steve 1b...........  3  3  2  3   1  0 13  1   0
     CANUSO, Rich ph/1b......  1  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
    DEFENDIS, Johnny cf......  6  2  4  1   0  2  1  0   2
    RODRIGUEZ, Cory 2b.......  5  0  3  1   0  1  1  3   1
    WILLIAMS, Dave rf........  5  1  2  2   0  1  2  0   2
    GOSSARD, Jon c...........  3  0  0  0   1  0  3  0   2
     MEADE, Frank c..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
    QUERNS, Tim 3b...........  5  2  3  1   0  1  0  2   2
    DECHRISTOFANO, OJ p......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  4   0
     BRADLEY, Ryan p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     PUSTAY, Matt p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
    Totals................... 44 13 19  8   4  8 27 15  10
    
    Minnesota 2 (4-8)
    
    Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Hrncirik 3b..............  4  1  1  0   0  1  1  1   1
    MacLean lf...............  3  0  0  0   1  0  1  0   0
    Fornasiere ss............  4  1  1  1   0  0  0  3   0
    Mee rf...................  3  0  0  0   1  1  3  0   0
    Hunter 1b................  4  0  1  1   0  0 11  0   0
    Elder c..................  4  0  0  0   0  0  8  0   2
    Carlson dh...............  4  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
    Leseman cf...............  2  0  0  0   1  0  2  1   0
    Chlan 2b.................  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  2   2
    Loberg p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
     Bull p..................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
     Oslin p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     Theis p.................  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
    Totals................... 31  2  5  2   3  3 27  9   5
    
    Score by Innings                    R  H  E
    -------------------------------------------
    Rutgers............. 331 010 050 - 13 19  0
    Minnesota........... 000 001 010 -  2  5  4
    -------------------------------------------
    
    E - Fornasiere; Elder; Chlan; Bull. DP - Rutgers 1. LOB - Rutgers 10; MINN
    5. 2B - T. Querns 2. 3B - Chlan. HR - S. Hook(3). HBP - S. Hook. SH - J.
    Gossard. SB - Hrncirik.
    
    Rutgers                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
    -----------------------------------------------
    DECHRISTOFANO, OJ...  7.0  4  1  1  3  3 24 27
    BRADLEY, Ryan.......  1.0  1  1  1  0  0  4  4
    PUSTAY, Matt........  1.0  0  0  0  0  0  3  3
    
    Minnesota              IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
    -----------------------------------------------
    Loberg..............  4.1 10  8  5  3  3 21 26
    Bull................  3.0  6  5  5  0  3 15 15
    Oslin...............  1.1  3  0  0  1  1  7  8
    Theis...............  0.1  0  0  0  0  1  1  1
    
    Win - DECHRISTOFNO (2-1).  Loss - Loberg (2-2).  Save - None.
    WP - Oslin; Theis. HBP - by Loberg (S. Hook). BK - DECHRISTOFNO.
    Umpires -
    Start: 6:30 pm   Time: 2:47   Attendance: 233
    Game: MINN-1
    
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