PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – The Rutgers baseball team (32-17, 19-5) clinched the 2003 BIG EAST Regular Season Championship with a doubleheader sweep of Villanova this afternoon. After battling through a 2:28 rain delay to win the opener, 5-0, RU’s Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) fired a five-inning no-hitter as Rutgers won the nightcap, 9-0, to complete the sweep. The two victories, coupled with a pair of West Virginia losses, give RU its first regular season title since 2000 and its third in six seasons." />
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RU Baseball Clinches BIG EAST Championship By Sweeping Villanova
RU FIRES BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS; PARKER THROWS NO-HITTER IN NIGHTCAP
  • Posted on May 16, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – The Rutgers baseball team (32-17, 19-5) clinched the 2003 BIG EAST Regular Season Championship with a doubleheader sweep of Villanova this afternoon. After battling through a 2:28 rain delay to win the opener, 5-0, RU’s Shaun Parker (Westampton, NJ) fired a five-inning no-hitter as Rutgers won the nightcap, 9-0, to complete the sweep. The two victories, coupled with a pair of West Virginia losses, give RU its first regular season title since 2000 and its third in six seasons. The back-to-back shutouts were the first for Rutgers since 1994, when it beat Monmouth (6-0, 3/31) and St. Bonaventure (3-0, 4/2), spanning 523 games.

    Rutgers entered the day in second place, ½-game behind first place West Virginia. The Mountaineers, however, dropped a pair of games at Boston College, losing the first 5-4 and the second, 10-7.

    Rutgers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first game when Graig Badger (Union, NJ) led off the game with a walk and, after stealing second and moving to third on a sacrifice, scored on an RBI groundout by Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ). Then, with two outs, Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) doubled off the fence in left-center and scored on a bloop single to right by Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ).

    Rutgers doubled its lead with two runs in the third, thanks to RBI singles from Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) and Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ). Leading 4-0, Egbert allowed a leadoff single and lost his grip on the first pitch to Alan Day, prompting the home plate umpire to postpone the inning.

    When play resumed 2 ½ hours later, relief pitcher OJ DeChristofano (Pequannock, NJ) used a groundout and 4-6-3 double play to end the fourth inning. He induced three more groundballs in a 1-2-3 fifth inning and allowed single walks in the sixth and seventh to finish off the victory. Frazier hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh to account for the final run of the game.

    DeChristofano (4-3) earned the win with four hitless innings of relief. RU collected 10 hits in the seven-inning affair, led by Esposito (3-for-4) and Defendis (2-for-3).

    In the nightcap, Badger led off the first once again with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a flyout and scored on an RBI groundout by Esposito. In the second, RU tacked on five more runs, stringing together three hits, two walks and a hit batter. A walk to Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ), single from Defendis and a hit by pitch with Cerulo at the plate loaded the bases with no outs. Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) drove a sac fly to center, scoring Gaynor. After Defenids scored on a balk, Badger singled to center, plating Cerulo for a 4-0 lead. Wolski then singled to put runners at first and second and, after a double steal, Frazier drove a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Badger. A walk to Esposito put runners at the corners, setting the stage for a double steal attempt. Esposito was tagged out on the play to end the inning, but not before Wolski scampered home for a 6-0 lead.

    RU added two more in the fourth on RBI singles from Normane and Gaynor, scoring Frazier (single) and Esposito (walk), to increase its lead to 8-0. Following a pitching change, Bionde singled to center, scoring Normane with the ninth run of the game. After another hitless frame from Parker in the bottom of the fifth, the umpires called off the game, giving RU its championship.

    Parker’s no-hit effort was aided by a leaping catch in rightfield by Frazier and a nice play on a slow roller by Bionde. Otherwise, Parker was dominant, striking out seven while walking just three. In 12 total innings, RU pitchers allowed just two hits all afternoon.

    The two teams return to action for a single game at 12:00 noon tomorrow. RU will then host Rider at 12:00 noon on Sunday, the final regular season game for both teams.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                      Rutgers at Villanova
                    May 16, 2003 at Plymouth Mtg., PA (Ballpark @ Plymouth)
    
      Rutgers 5 (31-17,18-5 BIG EAST)               Villanova 0 (13-31,5-18 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      BADGER, Graig 2b...........  2  1  0  0       Graziano, Chris cf.........  2  0  0  0
      WOLSKI, Matt dh............  3  0  0  0       Downs, Dustin ss...........  2  0  0  0
      FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  3  1  1  2       Newbold, Brian lf..........  3  0  0  0
      ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  4  1  3  0       Mitchell, Mitch 1b.........  3  0  1  0
      NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  4  1  2  1       Day, Alan rf...............  3  0  0  0
      VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  4  1  1  1       Crammer, Ryan dh...........  2  0  1  0
      DEFENDIS, Johnny lf........  3  0  2  0       Poydenis, Danny 3b.........  3  0  0  0
      CERULO, Nick cf............  2  0  1  1       Fater, Greg c..............  3  0  0  0
      BIONDE, Mike ss............  3  0  0  0       Cardillo, Mark 2b..........  2  0  0  0
      EGBERT, Jack p.............  0  0  0  0       Kandybowicz, Tom p.........  0  0  0  0
       DECHRISTOFANO, OJ p.......  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 28  5 10  5       Totals..................... 23  0  2  0
    
      Score by Innings                  R  H  E
      -----------------------------------------
      Rutgers............. 202 000 1 -  5 10  1
      Villanova........... 000 000 0 -  0  2  1
      -----------------------------------------
    
      E - NORMANE; Kandybowicz. DP - Rutgers 1; NOVA 1. LOB - Rutgers 7; NOVA 5. 2B -
      ESPOSITO 2. HR - FRAZIER(7). SH - WOLSKI; CERULO. SB - BADGER 2(35); NORMANE 2;
      CERULO; Graziano.
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      EGBERT, Jack ..............   3.0  2  0  0  1  3   0  0  0  0   12 13   1  5
      DECHRISTOFANO, OJ  W,4-3...   4.0  0  0  0  2  1   0  0  0  0   11 13   4  6
    
      Villanova                      IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Kandybowicz, Tom  L,1-5....   7.0 10  5  5  3  7   0  0  0  0   28 33   5  8
    
    
      Strikeouts - BADGER; WOLSKI 2; VASQUEZ; DEFENDIS; BIONDE 2; Graziano 2; Fater;
      Cardillo. Walks - BADGER 2; FRAZIER; Graziano; Downs; Crammer.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 12:00 pm   Time: 4:51   Attendance: 135
      Game: VNOVA-1
    
      EGBERT faced 1 batter in the 4th.
                                    ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                      Rutgers at Villanova
                     May 16, 2003 at Plymouth Mtg, PA (Ballpark @ Plymouth)
    
      Rutgers 9 (32-17,19-5 BIG EAST)               Villanova 0 (13-32,5-19 BIG EAST)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  2  1  1       Graziano, Chris cf.........  2  0  0  0
      WOLSKI, Matt dh............  2  1  1  0       Downs, Dustin ss...........  1  0  0  0
       RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph........  1  0  0  0       Mitchell, Mitch 1b.........  2  0  0  0
      FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  3  1  1  1       Schau, Adrian dh...........  1  0  0  0
      ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  2  1  0  1       Newbold, Brian lf..........  2  0  0  0
      NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  3  1  1  1       Day, Alan rf...............  1  0  0  0
      GAYNOR, Colin c............  1  1  1  1       Poydenis, Danny 3b.........  2  0  0  0
      DEFENDIS, Johnny lf........  3  1  1  0       Fater, Greg c..............  2  0  0  0
      CERULO, Nick cf............  0  1  0  0       Cardillo, Mark 2b..........  2  0  0  0
      BIONDE, Mike ss............  2  0  2  2       Allen, Nick p..............  0  0  0  0
      PARKER, Shaun p............  0  0  0  0        McCoy, Joe p..............  0  0  0  0
                                                     Grodecki, Michael p.......  0  0  0  0
                                                     Rocca, Mark p.............  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 20  9  8  7       Totals..................... 15  0  0  0
    
      Score by Innings               R  H  E
      --------------------------------------
      Rutgers............. 150 30 -  9  8  0
      Villanova........... 000 00 -  0  0  0
      --------------------------------------
    
      DP - Rutgers 1. LOB - Rutgers 7; NOVA 3. HBP - GAYNOR; CERULO. SF - FRAZIER; BIONDE.
      SB - BADGER 2(37); WOLSKI. CS - ESPOSITO.
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PARKER, Shaun  W,4-2.......   5.0  0  0  0  3  7   1  0  0  0   15 18   4  4
    
      Villanova                      IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Allen, Nick  L,4-7.........   1.1  3  6  6  3  0   0  1  1  0    6 11   2  2
      McCoy, Joe ................   2.0  4  3  3  3  1   0  0  1  0    8 13   4  0
      Grodecki, Michael .........   0.2  1  0  0  1  1   0  0  0  0    3  4   1  0
      Rocca, Mark ...............   1.0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    3  3   2  1
    
      WP - PARKER. HB - Allen; McCoy. BK - Allen. PB - Fater.
    
      Strikeouts - BADGER 2; Graziano; Schau; Newbold; Day; Poydenis; Fater; Cardillo.
      Walks - BADGER; WOLSKI; ESPOSITO 2; GAYNOR; CERULO 2; Downs; Schau; Day.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 5:20 pm   Time: 1:52   Attendance: 136
      Game: NOVA-2
    
    
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