PISCATAWAY, NJ – The quintet of Rutgers seniors – Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ), Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ), Leon Shade (Montclair, NJ), Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) and Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) – played a key role in Rutgers’ 5-4 win over Rider today at the Class of ’53 Complex." />
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Rutgers Closes Regular Season with 5-4 Win over Rider
SENIORS PLAY KEY ROLE IN COMEBACK WIN IN HOME FINALE
  • Posted on May 18, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – The quintet of Rutgers seniors – Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ), Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ), Leon Shade (Montclair, NJ), Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ) and Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) – played a key role in Rutgers’ 5-4 win over Rider today at the Class of ’53 Complex. The Scarlet Knights fell behind, 3-0, in the second, scored twice in the second and three more in the fourth to rally for the win. With the victory, Rutgers enters the BIG EAST Tournament with a 33-18 overall record.

    The seniors have been a part of 187 wins over the past five seasons and their efforts today provided the difference.

    Rider jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second when Gene Crimoli drilled a three-run home run down the line in right field. Crimoli’s blast came after back-to-back singles and before a pair of walks, sending RU starter Tom Malafronte (Somerville, NJ) to the bench after just 1.2 innings.

    Rutgers cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the second on Normane’s solo blast, his seventh of the season, and a triple from Vasquez. After a walk to Shade put runners at the corners, Rutgers attempted a double steal and when the throw to second sailed high, Vasquez raced home without a throw.

    Rider used a two-out single by Erinn Pesarisi to extend its lead to 4-2 in the fourth, but Rutgers rallied once again. The Scarlet Knights Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) got things started with an inning-opening walk and, after a flyout, Vasquez, Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ) and Shade strung together three-straight singles, driving in a pair of runs to tie the game at 4-4. Following a pitching change, Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) walked to load the bases and Graig Badger (Union, NJ) was hit by a pitch, forcing in the third run of the inning and giving RU a 5-4 lead.

    Freshman Matt Pustay (Hamilton, NJ) improved to 3-0 by allowing just two hits and one run in 4.1 innings of middle relief. Fellow freshman Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ) then fired two shutout innings, before Atchison shut the door in the ninth for his third save. Vasquez (2-for-2, 2 runs) and Shade (2-for-3, RBI) were the lone repeat hitters. Normane (1-for-3, HR) and Wolski (1-for-4, sac) also added hits in their final home contests. RU also walked 10 times today.

    Rutgers begins postseason play on Thursday, May 22, when it faces Virginia Tech in the opening round of the 2003 BIG EAST Championship. The top-seeded Scarlet Knights and fourth-seeded Hokies will meet at 3:30 p.m. at Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                        Rider at Rutgers
                     May 18, 2003 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of '53 Complex)
    
      Rider 4 (22-27)                               Rutgers 5 (33-18)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Erinn Pesaresi lf..........  4  0  1  1       BADGER, Graig dh...........  2  0  1  1
      Bryan Wagner ss............  3  0  0  0       WOLSKI, Matt 2b............  4  0  1  0
      Carl Loadenthal cf.........  4  0  0  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  4  0  0  0
      Scott Rich rf..............  3  0  1  0       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  3  1  0  0
      Casey Long 3b..............  4  0  0  0       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  3  1  1  1
      David Sokolowski dh........  4  1  1  0       VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  2  2  2  0
      Sean Whalen c..............  4  2  2  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  3  1  1  1
      Gene Crimoli 1b............  2  1  1  3       SHADE, Leon lf.............  3  0  2  1
       Tom Letezia ph............  0  0  0  0        GROVER, Jason ss..........  0  0  0  0
      Dante Paolillo 2b..........  3  0  0  0       BIONDE, Mike ss............  1  0  0  0
       Mike Poalise ph...........  1  0  0  0        GROSE, Jeff ph/lf.........  1  0  0  0
      A.J. Battisto p............  0  0  0  0       MALAFRONTE, Tom p..........  0  0  0  0
       Ken Betkowski p...........  0  0  0  0        PUSTAY, Matt p............  0  0  0  0
                                                     LILLIS, Chris p...........  0  0  0  0
                                                     ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 32  4  6  4       Totals..................... 26  5  8  4
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      Rider............... 030 100 000 -  4  6  1
      Rutgers............. 020 300 00X -  5  8  1
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - Loadenthal; MALAFRONTE. DP - Rider 2; Rutgers 2. LOB - Rider 6; Rutgers 11. 2B -
      WOLSKI(10). 3B - VASQUEZ(2). HR - Crimoli; NORMANE(7). HBP - BADGER. SH - BADGER;
      WOLSKI; VASQUEZ. SB - Pesaresi; Loadenthal. CS - SHADE.
    
      Rider                          IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      A.J. Battisto  L,1-5.......   3.1  5  5  5  4  0   0  0  0  0   12 17   6  2
      Ken Betkowski .............   4.2  3  0  0  6  0   0  0  1  0   14 23   5  8
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      MALAFRONTE, Tom ...........   1.2  3  3  3  2  0   0  0  0  0    9 11   2  3
      PUSTAY, Matt  W,3-0........   4.1  2  1  1  2  0   0  0  0  0   14 16   5  7
      LILLIS, Chris .............   2.0  1  0  0  0  1   0  0  0  0    6  6   1  3
      ATCHISON, Sean  S,3........   1.0  0  0  0  1  0   0  0  0  0    3  4   0  3
    
      HB - Betkowski.
    
      Strikeouts - Loadenthal. Walks - Pesaresi; Wagner; Rich; Crimoli; Letezia; BADGER;
      FRAZIER; ESPOSITO 2; NORMANE; VASQUEZ; CERULO; SHADE; BIONDE 2.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 12:00 pm   Time: 2:26   Attendance: 250
      Game: RIDER-1
    
    
    Next Game
    3:30 PM vs. LAFAYETTE
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