PITTSBURGH, PA – After dropping the opening game, 5-4, in the final inning, the Rutgers baseball team used 6.1 stellar innings of relief from four different pitchers to hold on for a 7-5 win in the nightcap, splitting today’s doubleheader. Freshman Bobby Acampora (Ocean Twp., NJ) set the tone for the quartet of relievers by allowing just one unearned run in 3.0 innings, while Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) keyed a four-run third inning with a two-run homerun. With the split, Rutgers is now 8-12 overall and 2-2 in BIG EAST play." />
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Bullpen Keys Doubleheader Split With Pittsburgh
RU LOSES FIRST, 5-4; RALLIES FOR 7-5 WIN BEHIND STELLAR BULLPEN EFFORT IN NIGHTCAP
  • Posted on April 04, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PITTSBURGH, PA – After dropping the opening game, 5-4, in the final inning, the Rutgers baseball team used 6.1 stellar innings of relief from four different pitchers to hold on for a 7-5 win in the nightcap, splitting today’s doubleheader. Freshman Bobby Acampora (Ocean Twp., NJ) set the tone for the quartet of relievers by allowing just one unearned run in 3.0 innings, while Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) keyed a four-run third inning with a two-run homerun. With the split, Rutgers is now 8-12 overall and 2-2 in BIG EAST play.

    In the opener, Rutgers scored a quick run in the first on an RBI single by Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ), but Pittsburgh rallied for a 2-1 lead in the second, highlighted by a leadoff home run by Alex Rybczak. Rutgers tied the game, 2-2, in the third on another RBI single from Esposito, who plated Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ), who reached on an inning-opening single to center and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice by Graig Badger (Union, NJ). UP reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning, however, scoring an unearned run after a failed pickoff attempt by RU starter Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ).

    Rutgers tied the game again in the fifth, as Badger singled with one out, stole second and third and scored on a sacrifice foul-out by Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ). The Panthers ended the tie in the bottom of the inning once again, as Stuart Rykaceski greeted reliever Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ) with an RBI single, scoring Bryan Spamer.

    Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Rutgers tied it for the third time. Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) led off with a single through the left side and was replaced by pinch-runner Lee Moskowitz (Edison, NJ). Bionde moved Moskowitz to second and a groundout by Badger moved him to third. With two outs, freshman Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) then tripled to right-center, scoring Moskowitz, but was stranded just 90 feet away from producing the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the inning, Tom Cashman reached on a single to center and moved to second when the ball skipped under the glove of Rutgers center fielder Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ). Rykaceski then singled down the right field line to end the game. Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ) was the tough-luck loser, allowing one run in 1/3 of an inning.

    Regrouping in the nightcap, Rutgers scored its first run on a sacrifice fly by Vasquez, who plated Normane following his inning-opening walk. A double from freshman Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) pushed Normane to third. Trailing 2-1, Rutgers plated four more in the third to gain control, highlighted by Normane’s second home run of the season. Frazier also added a sac fly in the inning, while Esposito scored on a triple by Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ).

    The Panthers battled back with two runs in the bottom of the third to close the gap to 5-4 and tied the game with an unearned run in the sixth inning. After a scoreless seventh, Rutgers snapped the tie with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

    In the top of the eight, with the score knotted at 5-5, Vasquez opened the inning with a single, much like he had done in the first game. Moskowitz replaced him at first once again and scored two batters later when Badger doubled down the left-field line. In the ninth, RU added an insurance run on a bases-loaded walk to Bionde.

    The story of the second game was the effort of RU’s bullpen, which allowed four hits and one unearned run in 6.1 innings. Acampora set the tone with his nearly-flawless outing, while freshman Matt Pustay (Hamilton, NJ) retired the lone hitter he faced, ending the sixth inning. OJ DeChristofano (Pequannock, NJ) worked the next 1.1 innings, allowing just two hits and no runs, to earn the win and improve to 2-3 this season. Atchison pitched the final 1.2 innings, retiring all five hitters, three via strikeout. Aaron Kalb (Middletown, NJ) started for Rutgers, allowing six hits, three walks and four runs in 2.2 innings of work.

    Esposito (2-for-3 in game one and 3-for-4 in game two) was RU’s hitting star, while Badger was 3-for-7 and Vasquez produced two key hits to start rallies. Defendis, who started his first career game in centerfield, was 2-for-4 in the nightcap.

    Rutgers returns to action on Sunday, when they play Georgetown in Bethesda, MD. The BIG EAST doubleheader will begin at 10:00 a.m., two hours earlier than originally scheduled.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                     Rutgers at Pittsburgh
                         Apr 04, 2003 at Pittsburgh, Pa. (Trees Field)
    
      Rutgers 4 (7-12,1-2 BIG EAST)                 Pittsburgh 5 (20-8,3-4 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  1  1  0       Copeland cf................  3  0  2  1
      GROSE, Jeff lf.............  2  0  2  1       Scanzano 3b................  3  0  2  0
      FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  3  1  0  1       Spamer ss..................  4  1  0  0
      ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  3  0  2  2       Cashman 1b.................  1  2  1  0
      WOLSKI, Matt dh............  3  0  0  0       Rykaceski lf...............  3  0  2  3
      NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  3  0  0  0       Wilmoth dh.................  3  0  0  0
      CERULO, Nick cf............  3  0  0  0       Rybczak c..................  3  1  1  1
      VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  3  0  1  0       Bell rf....................  0  1  0  0
       MOSKOWITZ, Lee pr/c.......  0  1  0  0        Papst ph..................  1  0  1  0
      BIONDE, Mike ss............  2  1  1  0        Williams pr/rf............  0  0  0  0
      PARKER, Shaun p............  0  0  0  0       Folmar 2b..................  1  0  0  0
       ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0       Evangelista p..............  0  0  0  0
       LILLIS, Chris p...........  0  0  0  0        Barnyak p.................  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 25  4  7  4       Totals..................... 22  5  9  5
    
      Score by Innings                  R  H  E
      -----------------------------------------
      Rutgers............. 101 010 1 -  4  7  2
      Pittsburgh.......... 021 010 1 -  5  9  0
      -----------------------------------------
    
      Note: None out, 1 runner LOB when the game ended.
    
      E - CERULO(3); PARKER(3). LOB - Rutgers 5; Pittsburgh 9. 3B - GROSE(1). HR -
      Rybczak(3). HBP - Cashman; Bell. SH - BADGER(3); BIONDE(4); Folmar 2(7). SF -
      FRAZIER(2); Rykaceski(3). SB - BADGER 2(12); GROSE(1); FRAZIER(1); Copeland 2(10);
      Scanzano(7); Bell 2(4). CS - Scanzano(1); Williams(1).
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PARKER, Shaun .............   4.1  5  4  3  3  3   0  0  2  0   15 22   1  8
      ATCHISON, Sean ............   1.1  2  0  0  1  1   1  0  0  0    4  6   0  2
      LILLIS, Chris  L,0-2.......   0.1  2  1  1  1  0   0  0  0  0    3  4   1  0
    
      Pittsburgh                     IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Evangelista ...............   5.0  5  3  3  2  3   0  0  0  0   18 22   3  9
      Barnyak  W,3-0.............   2.0  2  1  1  0  2   0  0  0  0    7  8   1  3
    
      WP - ATCHISON(1). HB - PARKER 2.
    
      Strikeouts - WOLSKI; NORMANE 2; CERULO 2; Copeland; Rykaceski; Wilmoth; Folmar.
      Walks - GROSE 2; Copeland; Scanzano; Cashman 2; Bell.
    
      Umpires - Home:Paul Lancaster  1st:Lance Mitchell  3rd:Rob Mancz
      Start: Noon   Time: 2:37   Attendance: 120
      Game: GAME-28
    
      LILLIS faced 2 batters in the 7th.
    
     
    
                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                     Rutgers at Pittsburgh
                         Apr 04, 2003 at Pittsburgh, Pa. (Trees Field)
    
      Rutgers 7 (8-12,2-2 BIG EAST)                 Pittsburgh 5 (20-9,3-5 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      BADGER, Graig 2b...........  4  1  2  1       Copeland cf................  5  0  2  1
      GROSE, Jeff lf.............  4  0  0  0       Scanzano 3b................  3  0  0  0
      FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  4  0  0  1       Spamer ss..................  4  2  2  0
      ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  4  2  3  0       Cashman 1b.................  4  1  1  1
      WOLSKI, Matt dh............  3  1  1  1       Rykaceski lf...............  4  0  0  0
      NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  3  2  1  2       Papst dh...................  5  1  1  1
      DEFENDIS, Johnny cf........  4  0  2  0       Rybczak c..................  5  1  1  0
       RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph........  0  0  0  0       Burger rf..................  3  0  1  1
       CERULO, Nick cf...........  0  0  0  0        Williams rf...............  1  0  0  0
      VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  3  0  1  1        Wilmoth ph................  1  0  0  0
       MOSKOWITZ, Lee pr/c.......  0  1  0  0       Folmar 2b..................  3  0  2  0
      BIONDE, Mike ss............  2  0  0  1       Rhoten, D. p...............  0  0  0  0
      KALB, Aaron p..............  0  0  0  0        Blue p....................  0  0  0  0
       ACOMPORA, Bobby p.........  0  0  0  0        Luckette p................  0  0  0  0
       PUSTAY, Matt p............  0  0  0  0        Rhoten, M. p..............  0  0  0  0
       DECHRISTOFANO, OJ p.......  0  0  0  0        Bircher p.................  0  0  0  0
       ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 31  7 10  7       Totals..................... 38  5 10  4
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      Rutgers............. 014 000 011 -  7 10  1
      Pittsburgh.......... 112 001 000 -  5 10  1
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - BIONDE(1); Rykaceski(1). LOB - Rutgers 12; Pittsburgh 12. 2B - BADGER(4);
      DEFENDIS(3); Spamer(9); Papst(4); Burger(3). 3B - WOLSKI(1). HR - NORMANE(2). HBP -
      Scanzano; Rykaceski. SH - BADGER(4); WOLSKI(5). SF - FRAZIER(3); VASQUEZ(1). SB -
      BADGER(13); MOSKOWITZ(2); Spamer 3(7). CS - ESPOSITO(1); DEFENDIS(1).
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      KALB, Aaron ...............   2.2  6  4  4  3  1   1  0  0  0   14 17   3  4
      ACOMPORA, Bobby ...........   3.0  2  1  0  1  2   0  0  1  0   12 14   4  3
      PUSTAY, Matt ..............   0.1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    1  1   1  0
      DECHRISTOFANO, OJ  W,2-3...   1.1  2  0  0  0  1   1  0  1  0    6  7   0  3
      ATCHISON, Sean  S,1........   1.2  0  0  0  0  3   0  0  0  0    5  5   2  0
    
      Pittsburgh                     IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Rhoten, D. ................   2.2  4  4  4  2  0   0  0  0  0   10 14   3  5
      Blue ......................   1.1  3  1  1  2  0   0  0  0  0    6  8   2  1
      Luckette ..................   1.0  0  0  0  3  0   0  0  0  0    2  5   2  0
      Rhoten, M.  L,2-1..........   3.2  3  2  2  3  3   0  0  0  0   12 17   5  3
      Bircher ...................   0.1  0  0  0  1  1   0  0  0  0    1  2   0  0
    
      WP - KALB(4); DECHRISTOFNO(2). HB - ACOMPORA; DECHRISTOFNO. PB - Rybczak(5).
    
      Strikeouts - BADGER; GROSE; WOLSKI; DEFENDIS; Spamer; Cashman; Papst 3; Rybczak;
      Burger. Walks - BADGER; GROSE; ESPOSITO; WOLSKI; NORMANE 2; RODRIGUEZ; MOSKOWITZ;
      BIONDE 3; Scanzano; Spamer; Cashman; Folmar.
    
      Umpires - Home:Lance Mitchell  1st:Rob Mancz  3rd:Paul Lancaster
      Start: 3 p.m.   Time: 4:13   Attendance: 120
      Game: GAME-29
    
      Game notes:
      Rain delay lasted 33 minutes.
      Blue faced 1 batter in the 5th.
      Luckette faced 1 batter in the 6th.
    
    
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