PISCATAWAY, NJ – Freshman lefty Matt Pustay (Hamilton, NJ) fired 6.1 innings of three-hit one-run relief as Rutgers rallied for a 10-5 win and three-game series sweep of Virginia Tech in BIG EAST baseball action today at the Class of ’53 Complex." />
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Pustay Comes to the Rescue as RU Sweeps Past Virginia Tech, 10-5
FRESHMAN GIVES 6.1 STANDOUT INNINGS OF RELIEF IN RU’S NINTH-STRAIGHT
  • Posted on April 28, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – Freshman lefty Matt Pustay (Hamilton, NJ) fired 6.1 innings of three-hit one-run relief as Rutgers rallied for a 10-5 win and three-game series sweep of Virginia Tech in BIG EAST baseball action today at the Class of ’53 Complex. RU trailed 4-2 early in the contest, but scored three times in the third and, when the Hokies cut the gap to 7-5 with a run in the seventh, added three more insurance runs, highlighted by back-to-back solo home runs from Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) and Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ). With the win, its ninth-straight overall and eighth-straight in conference play, Rutgers improves to 21-14 overall and 13-3 in BE play. VA Tech is now 27-15, 10-7 BE. The win also gave Rutgers a strong hold on second-place in the conference standings, just ½ game behind Notre Dame (14-3).

    Rutgers scored twice in the second to take a 2-0 lead, as Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) opened with a double and scored on a single to center by Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ). Two batters later, Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) doubled down the line in left, scoring Cerulo from first base.

    The Hokies came back with four of their own in the top of the third, chasing RU starter Aaron Kalb (Middletown, NJ). A pair of singles, sandwiched around a walk, loaded the bases with no outs, while a one-out walk to Marc Tugwell pushed across the first run. Wyatt Toregas then followed with a single through the right side of the infield and Brad Bauder delivered a sacrifice fly to center, giving VT a 3-2 lead. An infield error then allowed Tugwell to score and signaled the end of Kalb’s day. Pustay induced a popup to right field to avoid further damager.

    Rutgers came storming back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-4 lead. A hit batter and a pair of walks loaded the bases with no outs, while Wolski doubled in two runs to tie the game at 4-4. With one out, Cerulo drove in another with a sacrifice fly to center, giving RU its second lead of the game.

    Given a lead, Pustay retired the next six hitters he faced before allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. He escaped the sixth without incident, but allowed a solo home run to Tugwell in the seventh, which cut the lead to 7-5. RU had scored twice more in the fifth on a costly error by Tugwell, which allowed Wolski (single) and Normane (single) to score with two outs.

    With VTech back within striking distance, Rutgers added an insurance run in the seventh on a two-out, RBI single by Grose and two more in the eighth on the back-to-back home runs from Frazier and Esposito. Frazier’s home run, his sixth of the season, extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

    Pustay, who retired the side in the eighth, made quick work of the first two hitters in the ninth before allowing a single. He then ended the game with a flyout to shallow center, improving to 2-0 this season. Grose (3-for-4, double) and Wolski (3-for-5, two doubles, two RBI) led the 12-hit attack, while Frazier was 2-for-4.

    Rutgers returns to non-league action tomorrow, when it hosts Wagner at 3:00 p.m. The Wagner Seahawks are coached by former RU second baseman Joe Litterio.

    RU BASEBALL NOTES

    - Matt Wolski was 12-for-19 (.632) in the last five games and 8-for-11 (.727) in the series with Virginia Tech. He is now hitting .427 overall and .457 in BIG EAST play.

    - Wolski currently has 47 hits this season and 219 in his career, which is good for fourth-place on the all-time list. He trails the following: 1.) Darren Fenster – 315 2.) Pete Zoccolillo – 285 3.) Jake Daubert – 225.

    - Jeff Frazier hit .579 in the last five games, with three doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI. He has hit safely in the last 14 games (23-for-53, .434), raising his average from .284 to .336 overall.

    - The 3-4-5 hitters in the Rutgers lineup – Frazier, Vinny Esposito and Matt Wolski – were a combined 19-for-32 in the series with VA Tech (.594). The trio also drove in 15 runs and scored 14 times.

    - Sophomore Jack Egbert is currently 6-3 with a 4.97 ERA this season, but a perfect 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA in BIG EAST games. Egbert has won his last six starts, after losing his first three. In those last six, spanning 39.0 innings, he has allowed 40 hits and just 14 runs (12 earned). He has walked eight and struck out 35, a 4.4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Of the 40 hits he allowed, 33 were singles.

    - Freshman Jeff Grose enjoyed his best week in a RU uniform, hitting .562 (9-for-16) with two doubles, two triples and five RBI. He was 6-for-9 in the three-game sweep of Virginia Tech, scoring six runs.

    - RU used five freshman pitchers this past week, all in relief. They combined for 11.0 IP, allowing just seven hits and one run (0.82 ERA). Matt Pustay led the group with a 1-0 record in 7.1 innings, allowing four hits and one run.

    - Senior Steve Normane is hitting .383 since opening the season with an 0-for-14 slump. He has 36 hits in 94 at bats since returning to the lineup, with four home runs and 29 RBI. He is hitting .396 in BIG EAST play.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                    Virginia Tech at Rutgers
                      Apr 28, 2003 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of 53 Complex)
    
      Virginia Tech 5 (27-15,10-7 BIG EAST)         Rutgers 10 (21-14,13-3 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Stanton 3b.................  5  1  2  0       BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  0  0  0
      Adams dh...................  4  0  1  0       GROSE, Jeff lf.............  4  1  3  1
       Londrey ph................  1  0  0  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  4  2  2  1
      Tugwell 2b.................  3  2  1  2       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  4  2  1  1
      Toregas c..................  4  0  1  1       WOLSKI, Matt dh............  5  2  3  2
      Bauder cf..................  3  0  1  1       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  5  1  1  0
      Harris ss..................  4  0  0  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  3  2  1  2
      Winterfeldt 1b.............  2  0  0  0       VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  3  0  0  0
       McDonald ph/1b............  1  0  0  0       BIONDE, Mike ss............  3  0  1  1
      Kalish rf..................  3  1  1  0       KALB, Aaron p..............  0  0  0  0
       Blaszak ph................  1  0  0  0        PUSTAY, Matt p............  0  0  0  0
      Beall lf...................  3  1  0  0
      Wells p....................  0  0  0  0
       Stoehr p..................  0  0  0  0
       Bowers p..................  0  0  0  0
       Dalton p..................  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 34  5  7  4       Totals..................... 34 10 12  8
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      Virginia Tech....... 004 000 100 -  5  7  1
      Rutgers............. 023 020 12X - 10 12  1
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - Tugwell(5); NORMANE(5). LOB - Va. Tech 6; Rutgers 9. 2B - GROSE(3); WOLSKI 2(6);
      BIONDE(2). HR - Tugwell(8); FRAZIER(6); ESPOSITO(2). HBP - Winterfeldt; BADGER;
      GROSE. SH - BIONDE(8). SF - Bauder(3); CERULO. SB - Harris(8); FRAZIER(1).
    
      Virginia Tech                  IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Wells  L,0-1...............   2.0  4  2  2  0  2   0  0  0  0   10 10   4  0
      Stoehr ....................   4.0  5  6  4  4  2   0  0  2  0   17 24   7  3
      Bowers ....................   1.1  3  2  2  1  1   0  0  0  0    5  7   1  1
      Dalton ....................   0.2  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    2  2   0  2
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      KALB, Aaron ...............   2.2  4  4  3  2  1   0  0  0  0   12 15   4  3
      PUSTAY, Matt  W,1-0........   6.1  3  1  1  0  3   1  1  1  0   22 23  12  4
    
      WP - PUSTAY(1). HB - Stoehr 2; PUSTAY. BK - PUSTAY(1). PB - Toregas(4).
    
      Strikeouts - Adams 2; Harris; McDonald; BADGER; ESPOSITO 2; VASQUEZ; BIONDE. Walks -
      Tugwell; Beall; BADGER; FRAZIER; ESPOSITO; CERULO; VASQUEZ.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 12:00 pm   Time: 2:29   Attendance: 250
      Game: VTECH-3
    
      Stoehr faced 1 batter in the 7th.
    
    
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