PISCATAWAY, NJ – Four hours and 42 minutes into the game, senior Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) drove a two-out, two-run home run over the right-field fence, giving No. 29 Rutgers a 5-3, 19-inning win over No. 20 Notre Dame in a Mother’s Day matinee today at the Class of ’53 Complex." />
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Normane’s 19th-Inning Blast Gives Rutgers a 5-3 Marathon Win Over ND
RU Takes Two of Three Games From the Irish in Dramatic Fashion After Tying the Game with Two Outs in Ninth
  • Posted on May 11, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – Four hours and 42 minutes into the game, senior Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) drove a two-out, two-run home run over the right-field fence, giving No. 29 Rutgers a 5-3, 19-inning win over No. 20 Notre Dame in a Mother’s Day matinee today at the Class of ’53 Complex. In a game that featured several dramatic moments, Normane delivered the biggest, sending Matt Laird’s offering 350-feet from home plate to punctuate a successful weekend for the Scarlet Knights. RU won two of three from the Irish, and improved to 30-16 overall and 17-5 in BIG EAST play while Notre Dame, which has lost four of its last six games, fell to 37-14, 15-6 BE. Today’s was Rutgers’ longest game since a 9-6, 17-inning win over Seton Hall in the opening round of the 1998 BIG EAST Championship.

    After two quick outs in the bottom of the 19th, RU’s Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) sent a Laird offering screaming up the middle for his fourth hit of the game, giving RU yet another chance to claim the victory. After stranding 16 runners in the previous 18 innings, Normane stepped to the plate and sliced a pitch down the line in right to win the game. It is his second extra-inning home run of the season against a ranked team as he also drilled a two-run home run in the top of the 12th to snap a 6-6 tie vs. No. 14 Miami on March 16.

    Rutgers scored first, using some bottom-of-the-order cooperation to take 1-0 lead in the second. With two outs, Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) walked and stole second, setting the table for Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ), who drilled a single up the middle to score Defendis with the game’s first run.

    Meanwhile, RU starter Aaron Kalb (Middletown, NJ) was working on a masterpiece, firing five no-hit innings, before Steve Sollman sliced a two-run home run down the line in right, ending the no-hitter and shutout, while giving the Irish a 2-1 lead. That lead stood until the bottom of the ninth, when a bizarre play gave Rutgers a second life.

    Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) led off with a single to center and was quickly replaced by pinch-runner Lee Moskowitz (Edison, NJ). After a Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ) sacrifice moved Moskowitz to second, UND elected to intentionally walk Defendis to set up the force play. Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ), pinch-hitting for Bionde, struck out for the second out of the inning, making Graig Badger (Union, NJ) the Scarlet Knights’ last hope. With a 1-2 count, Badger hit a dribbler to the third-base side of the pitcher’s mound, which UND closer JP Gagne fielded as the speedy Badger raced down the line. Gagne’s hurried throw pulled Joe Thaman, who entered the game in the top of the ninth as a defensive replacement, loading the bases. Thaman immediately turned and began pleading his case with the first base umpire, forgetting that Moskowitz was inching his way down the line towards home. As Thaman continued to argue, Moskowitz raced home, sliding in head-first without a throw to tie the game at 2-2.

    That play led to 10 extra innings of action, although Notre Dame almost won it in the 15th. Cody Rizzo drilled a one-out single down the line in right, but he took second when the ball skipped past Frazier in foul territory. The next hitter, Matt Macri, lined a single to left, which then snuck under the glove of defensive replacement Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ), allowing Rizzo to score. Rutgers, however, retied the game in the bottom of the inning when Esposito singled, moved to second on a sacrifice by Normane, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jason Grover (Montgomery, NJ), who entered the game in the top of the 10th inning. The score remained tied at 3-3 until Normane’s heroics in the 19th finally ended it.

    “I think this shows that we can play with anyone,” said Fred Hill, whose team reached the 30-win mark for the sixth-straight year. “Our guys battled their hearts out for 19 innings and you can’t ask for much more than that. We had a lot of different guys step up for us today.”

    The Rutgers pitching staff was outstanding today. Kalb lasted into the ninth (a career-best 8.1 innings), allowing just two hits and two runs, while walking four and striking out four. He was relieved by Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ) who retired the final two hitters in the ninth and proceeded to pitch 5.1 more innings before leaving after allowing Rizzo’s single in the 15th inning. He worked 6.0 innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run. He struck one and struck out six. The third contributor was freshman Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ), who fired 4.2 shutout innings, allowing three hits to even his record at 2-2. In all, the RU staff threw 258 pitches (Kalb 112, Atchison 91, Lillis 55) and allowed just nine hits in 19 innings.

    Rutgers squandered several chances in the game, leaving at least one runner stranded in each of the first nine innings of play. In extra frames, the Scarlet Knights stranded a pair of runners in the 11th (when Grover was thrown out at home trying to score on an groundball to short), two more in the 13th, and a runner on third in the 18th. Offensively, Esposito and Normane ended the day with 4-for-8 efforts, while Defendis was 2-for-3 with three intentional walks.

    Rutgers returns to action on Thursday, when it hosts Delaware at 3:00 p.m. at the Class of ’53 Complex. Freshman Jim Jansen (Pascack Valley, NJ) will take his 13-inning shutout streak to the mound for the Scarlet Knights.

                                      NOTRDAME at Rutgers
                      May 11, 2003 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of 53 Complex)
    
      NOTRDAME 3 (37-14,15-6 BIG EAST)              Rutgers 5 (30-16,17-5 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Steve Sollmann 2b..........  8  1  2  2       BADGER, Graig 2b...........  9  0  0  0
      Brennan Grogan lf..........  8  0  1  0       WOLSKI, Matt dh............  9  0  1  0
      Matt Edwards 1b............  4  0  0  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  8  0  0  0
       Joe Thaman 1b.............  4  0  2  0       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  8  2  4  0
      Kris Billmaier cf..........  7  0  0  1       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  8  1  4  2
      Steve Andres dh............  5  0  0  0       VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  4  0  1  0
       Craig Cooper pr...........  0  0  0  0        MOSKOWITZ, Lee pr.........  0  1  0  0
       Tim Murray ph.............  1  0  0  0        GROVER, Jason ss..........  2  0  1  1
      Cody Rizzo rf..............  6  1  1  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  3  0  0  0
      Matt Macri ss..............  6  0  2  0        RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph........  1  0  0  0
      Javi Sanchez c.............  5  1  0  0        GROSE, Jeff lf............  1  0  1  0
      Greg Lopez 3b..............  5  0  1  0       DEFENDIS, Johnny lf/cf.....  3  1  2  0
      Ryan Kalita p..............  0  0  0  0       BIONDE, Mike ss............  3  0  1  1
       Ryan Doherty p............  0  0  0  0        GAYNOR, Colin ph/c........  5  0  0  0
       Brandon Viloria p.........  0  0  0  0       KALB, Aaron p..............  0  0  0  0
       J.P. Gagne p..............  0  0  0  0        ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0
       Matt Laird p..............  0  0  0  0        LILLIS, Chris p...........  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 59  3  9  3       Totals..................... 64  5 15  4
    
      Score by Innings                                  R  H  E
      ---------------------------------------------------------
      NOTRDAME............ 000 002 000 000 001 000 0 -  3  9  2
      Rutgers............. 010 000 001 000 001 000 2 -  5 15  2
      ---------------------------------------------------------
    
      Note: 2 outs, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.
    
      E - Greg Lopez; J.P. Gagne; FRAZIER; GROSE. DP - NOTRDAME 1; Rutgers 1. LOB -
      NOTRDAME 8; Rutgers 16. 2B - S. Sollmann; Joe Thaman; NORMANE(13). HR - S.
      Sollmann(4); NORMANE(6). SH - Greg Lopez 2; NORMANE(3); GROVER(3); CERULO 2(8);
      DEFENDIS(6). SF - GROVER(2). SB - Steve Andres; Craig Cooper; FRAZIER(6);
      NORMANE(4); DEFENDIS(6). CS - K. Billmaier; Javi Sanchez; Greg Lopez; DEFENDIS.
    
      NOTRDAME                       IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Ryan Kalita ...............   5.0  5  1  1  3  6   0  0  0  0   18 21   3  4
      Ryan Doherty ..............   1.0  2  0  0  0  1   0  0  0  0    5  5   2  0
      Brandon Viloria ...........   1.0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    2  2   1  1
      J.P. Gagne ................   6.0  4  1  0  3  2   1  1  0  3   20 26   7  9
      Matt Laird  L,1-1..........   5.2  4  3  3  1  3   1  0  0  0   19 23   8  6
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      KALB, Aaron ...............   8.1  2  2  2  4  4   0  0  0  0   23 29  10  9
      ATCHISON, Sean ............   6.0  4  1  0  1  6   0  0  0  0   21 22  11  0
      LILLIS, Chris  W,2-2.......   4.2  3  0  0  2  1   0  0  0  1   15 17   4  7
    
      WP - J.P. Gagne; Matt Laird. BK - J.P. Gagne.
    
      Strikeouts - S. Sollmann; B. Grogan 2; Matt Edwards 2; Steve Andres 3; Cody Rizzo;
      Matt Macri; Greg Lopez; BADGER 3; WOLSKI 2; ESPOSITO 2; NORMANE; VASQUEZ; CERULO;
      BIONDE; GAYNOR. Walks - K. Billmaier; Steve Andres 2; Cody Rizzo; Matt Macri; Javi
      Sanchez 2; FRAZIER; ESPOSITO; GROSE; DEFENDIS 4.
      Umpires -
      Start: 12:05 pm   Time: 4:42   Attendance: 300
      Game: ND-3
    
      Game notes:
      11:00 a.m. start
      Happy Mother's Day
      Ryan Doherty faced 1 batter in the 7th.
    
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