PISCATAWAY, NJ – After suffering a heart-breaking 2-0 loss in the opener, junior Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) allowed just one run in 5.2 innings in the nightcap and received outstanding relief help from OJ DeChristofano (Pequannock, NJ), leading No. 29 Rutgers to a 10-2 win and split of today’s BIG EAST doubleheader with No. 20 Notre Dame." />
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Parker, DeChristofano Pitch Rutgers to Doubleheader Split with UND
RU COMBINES A GAME TWO WIN AND BC LOSS TO CLINCH A SPOT IN BIG EAST TOURNAMENT
  • Posted on May 10, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – After suffering a heart-breaking 2-0 loss in the opener, junior Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) allowed just one run in 5.2 innings in the nightcap and received outstanding relief help from OJ DeChristofano (Pequannock, NJ), leading No. 29 Rutgers to a 10-2 win and split of today’s BIG EAST doubleheader with No. 20 Notre Dame. With the split, Rutgers is now 29-16 overall and 16-5 in BIG EAST play, while Notre Dame is 37-13 overall and 15-6 in league action. More importantly, Rutgers clinched a spot in the BIG EAST Championship for the eighth-straight season since joining the league in ’96.

    In the opener, two of the BIG EAST best arms – Jack Egbert (Rutherford, NJ) of Rutgers and ND’s Chris Neisel – hooked up in a classic pitchers’ duel. The duo pitched a shutout into the fourth, when ND’s Steve Andres drove a 1-2 offering over the fence in right field, giving the Irish a 1-0 lead. Two innings later, the Irish added another run on a two-out, RBI single by Andres, giving Neisel all the support he needed. Although Rutgers collected seven hits and threatened in several innings, they stranded eight runners in the seven-inning contest, suffering just its second loss in 18 games. Egbert also lost for the first time in eight starts, despite allowing just two runs in seven innings of work.

    In the second game, RU took advantage of some wildness from ND starter John Axford to score a pair of first inning runs. Graig Badger (Union, NJ) and Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) led off with back-to-back walks and used a pair of wild pitches to plate the first run of the game. With Wolski on third, Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) then grounded out to shortstop, scoring Wolski with the inning’s second run. RU added another in the third, increasing its lead to 3-0, when Badger led off with another walk, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Frazier. Rutgers then added three more in the fourth, chasing Axford and sealing the win.

    Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ) walked to open the fourth and quickly scored when Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) tripled to the fence in right-center. Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) then singled through a drawn-in infield, scoring Defendis for a 5-0 lead. After stealing second, Bionde moved over to third when Badger grounded out to the first baseman. He then scored on a sac fly by Frazier, his third RBI of the game.

    Rutgers added another run in the fifth when Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) doubled to left field to lead off the inning and, two batters later, scored on a sac fly by Defendis. The Irish broke up Parker’s shutout bid with a single run in the sixth and threatened for more, before DeChristofano came on in relief and induced a flyball from the ever-dangerous Steve Sollman to end the inning.

    RU regained a run in the bottom of the sixth when Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) singled home Wolski (walk) against NJ-native Martin Vergara. Notre Dame scored once more in the seventh, but RU came right back with two of its own in the bottom of the inning on a sac fly by Badger and passed ball to finish off the 10-2 victory.

    Parker (3-2) allowed five hits and one run in 5.2 innings, walking four and striking out three. DeChristofano, who earned his first collegiate save, struck out five in 3.1 innings of one-run relief. Wolski reached base in four of five plate appearances in the second game, after going 3-for-3 in the first game. He ended the day at .421 overall and .452 in BIG EAST play.

    Tomorrow’s third and final game of the series has been moved up to an 11:00 a.m. start time, in an effort to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms predicted for the area.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                      NOTRDAME at Rutgers
                      May 10, 2003 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of 53 Complex)
    
      NOTRDAME 2 (37-12,15-5 BIGEAST)               Rutgers 0 (28-16,15-4 BIGEAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Steve Sollmann 2b..........  4  0  0  0       BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  0  1  0
      Brennan Grogan lf..........  4  0  1  0       GROSE, Jeff lf.............  3  0  0  0
      Matt Edwards 1b............  2  1  1  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  3  0  0  0
      Kris Billmaier cf..........  3  0  0  0       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  3  0  1  0
      Steve Andres dh............  3  1  2  2       WOLSKI, Matt dh............  3  0  3  0
      Matt Macri ss..............  3  0  0  0       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  2  0  0  0
      Cody Rizzo rf..............  3  0  0  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  3  0  0  0
      Javi Sanchez c.............  3  0  2  0       VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  3  0  2  0
      Greg Lopez 3b..............  3  0  1  0        MOSKOWITZ, Lee pr.........  0  0  0  0
      Chris Niesel p.............  0  0  0  0       BIONDE, Mike ss............  1  0  0  0
       J.P. Gagne p..............  0  0  0  0        RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph........  1  0  0  0
                                                    EGBERT, Jack p.............  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 28  2  7  2       Totals..................... 25  0  7  0
    
      Score by Innings                  R  H  E
      -----------------------------------------
      NOTRDAME............ 000 101 0 -  2  7  1
      Rutgers............. 000 000 0 -  0  7  0
      -----------------------------------------
    
      E - Matt Macri. LOB - NOTRDAME 6; Rutgers 8. 2B - Matt Edwards(14). HR - Steve
      Andres(3). SH - GROSE; NORMANE; BIONDE. SB - BADGER 2(31); WOLSKI(6).
    
      NOTRDAME                       IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Chris Niesel  W,8-1........   6.0  6  0  0  1  2   0  0  0  0   21 25   9  6
      J.P. Gagne  S,12...........   1.0  1  0  0  0  2   0  0  0  0    4  4   0  1
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      EGBERT, Jack  L,7-4........   7.0  7  2  2  1  4   0  0  0  0   28 29   5 11
    
    
      Strikeouts - S. Sollmann; Matt Edwards; K. Billmaier; Matt Macri; BADGER; GROSE;
      ESPOSITO; CERULO. Walks - Matt Edwards; BADGER.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 12:05 pm   Time: 1:58   Attendance: 500
      Game: ND-1
                                    ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                      NOTRDAME at Rutgers
                      May 10, 2003 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of 53 Complex)
    
      NOTRDAME 2 (37-13,15-6 BIG EAST)              Rutgers 10 (29-16,16-4 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Steve Sollmann 2b..........  4  0  0  0       BADGER, Graig 2b...........  2  2  0  1
      Craig Cooper lf............  4  0  0  0       WOLSKI, Matt dh............  1  2  0  0
      Matt Edwards 1b............  3  1  1  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  4  0  1  3
       Joe Thaman 1b.............  1  0  0  0       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  2  0  1  0
      Kris Billmaier cf..........  3  1  0  0        RODRIGUEZ, Cory pr/3b.....  1  0  1  0
      Cody Rizzo rf/c............  3  0  1  0       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  5  0  1  1
      Matt Macri ss..............  4  0  2  1       GAYNOR, Colin c............  4  1  1  0
      Matt Bransfield dh.........  4  0  2  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  2  2  1  0
      Javi Sanchez c.............  2  0  0  0       DEFENDIS, Johnny lf........  3  2  2  2
       Alex Nettey rf............  2  0  1  0       BIONDE, Mike ss............  4  1  1  1
      Greg Lopez 3b..............  2  0  0  1       PARKER, Shaun p............  0  0  0  0
       Tim Murray ph/3b..........  1  0  0  0        DECHRISTOFANO, OJ p.......  0  0  0  0
      John Axford p..............  0  0  0  0
       Tom Thornton p............  0  0  0  0
       Martin Vergara p..........  0  0  0  0
       Tyler Jones p.............  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 33  2  7  2       Totals..................... 28 10  9  8
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      NOTRDAME............ 000 001 100 -  2  7  2
      Rutgers............. 201 311 20X - 10  9  1
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - Craig Cooper; Javi Sanchez; PARKER. DP - NOTRDAME 1. LOB - NOTRDAME 11; Rutgers
      8. 2B - GAYNOR(2). 3B - DEFENDIS(4). HBP - S. Sollmann; Cody Rizzo; WOLSKI 2. SH -
      CERULO(6). SF - BADGER(3); FRAZIER(6); DEFENDIS(5). SB - S. Sollmann(28);
      BADGER(32); WOLSKI(7); CERULO 2(5); DEFENDIS(5); BIONDE(1).
    
      NOTRDAME                       IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      John Axford  L,9-2.........   3.2  3  6  6  6  4   2  0  2  0   12 21   2  4
      Tom Thornton ..............   1.1  2  1  1  0  0   0  0  0  0    4  6   3  1
      Martin Vergara ............   2.0  3  3  2  2  1   0  0  0  0    8 11   4  1
      Tyler Jones ...............   1.0  1  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    4  4   2  1
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PARKER, Shaun  W,3-2.......   5.2  5  1  1  4  3   0  0  2  0   21 27   7  6
      DECHRISTOFANO, OJ  S,1.....   3.1  2  1  1  1  5   0  0  0  0   12 13   5  0
    
      WP - John Axford 2. HB - John Axford 2; PARKER 2. PB - Cody Rizzo; GAYNOR.
    
      Strikeouts - Craig Cooper; K. Billmaier 2; Cody Rizzo 2; Bransfield; Javi Sanchez;
      Tim Murray; WOLSKI; ESPOSITO; NORMANE; CERULO; BIONDE. Walks - Craig Cooper; Matt
      Edwards; K. Billmaier 2; Greg Lopez; BADGER 2; WOLSKI 2; ESPOSITO 2; GAYNOR; CERULO.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 2:40 pm   Time: 2:30   Attendance: 500
      Game: ND-2
    
    
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