BOCA RATON, FL - Junior Graig Badger (Union, NJ) went 4-for-5, including his first career homerun and sophomore Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) was 3-for-4 with a homerun, two doubles and 4 RBI to propel Rutgers past Harvard, 15-6 today in Boca Raton, FL. The Scarlet Knights collected a season-high 21 hits and received outstanding relief pitching from freshman OJ DeChristofano (Pequannnock, NJ), who earned his first collegiate victory, to finish their trip to Florida with a 3-3 record. With the win, Rutgers improves to 4-10, while Harvard falls to 3-4.
Rutgers scored two runs in the first on Frazier’s homerun and added two more in the third when freshman Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) tripled to centerfield and scored on a double from Frazier. Frazier then scored on a single by Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ). Leading, 4-1, heading into the fourth, Rutgers added three more runs in the fourth, highlighted by RBI singles from Steve Normane (Point Pleasant, NJ) and Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ). Harvard closed the gap to 7-4 with two runs in the fifth inning but RU scored a combined six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to cruise to its second consecutive victory. During its five-run seventh inning, Rutgers received back-to-back homeruns from Badger and Defendis.
Rutgers, which received at least one hit form each of its nine starters, benefited from three hits by Espozito and two each from Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ), Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ), Defendis and Normane.
DeChristofano (1-2) pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run. He struck out a career-high six batters. RU starter Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) lasted four-plus innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. Freshman Bobby Acampora (Ocean Twp., NJ) allowed one run in 1.1 innings of middle relief.
The Scarlet Knights return home and will face Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday in Teaneck, NJ.
Be sure to check back on scarletknights.com for greater detail on Rutgers’ final two games, as well as the final two entries of Steve Normane’s diary, on Sunday morning.