BOCA RATON, FL – The Rutgers Baseball team enjoyed a trio of firsts in today’s 10-2 win over Harvard. Wearing their home white uniforms for the first time this season, sophomore Jack Egbert (Rutherford, NJ) picked up his first win of the season with six strong innings of work and freshman Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ) fired three shutout innings for his first collegiate save to snap the Scarlet Knights’ two-game losing skid. RU scored three runs in the second and third innings and built a 7-1 lead before coasting to its third win of the season. With the win, Rutgers improves to 3-10, while Harvard falls to 3-3.
With one out in the second, Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) singled to short and moved to second on an infield single from Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ). Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) then followed with a crisp single to center, scoring Wolski, while Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) also singled to center, plating Cerulo. Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Graig Badger (Union, NJ) drove in the inning’s third run with a fielder’s choice.
In the third, three more runs scored, as Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) singled and Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) walked to open the inning. After a sacrifice from Wolski moved the runners along, Cerulo stung a two-run double to left and, after stealing third base, scored on a sacrifice fly from Normane.
Although Harvard nicked Egbert for a run in the third, he cruised through the middle innings, throwing shutout frames in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, leading 7-1, Rutgers added another in the fourth on a two-out, RBI double from Esposito and two more in the fifth, highlighted by a bases-loaded walk from Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ).
Tiring in the seventh, Egbert gave up three-straight hits and a run, ending his day. Lillis escaped further damage in the seventh with three-straight flyouts and pitched the final two innings to earn his first save.
Egbert (1-3) allowed 10 hits in six-plus innings, walking one and striking out six. Lillis allowed two hits and no walks, striking out four, in three innings. Normane led the 11-hit attack with a 2-for-2, three-RBI effort, while Cerulo was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Rutgers and Harvard will meet again tomorrow at 12:00 noon. Today’s game was pushed back to 2:00 p.m. to accommodate Harvard’s travel schedule. Junior lefty Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) will start for the Scarlet Knights, ending the team’s annual trip to Florida.