BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Freshman Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) hit a two-run single to cap a five-run fifth inning, as the Scarlet Knights took a 5-4 lead, en route to an 8-7 victory over West Virginia. The victory allows RU to advance in the 2003 BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ. Senior Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ) provided 4.2 innings of solid relief work to earn the win for the Scarlet Knights (35-19). The win also marks the 800th victory in the illustrious career of head coach Fred Hill." />
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Rutgers Advances to BIG EAST Championship With 8-7 Win Over WVU
HEAD COACH FRED HILL EARNS HIS 800TH CAREER VICTORY
  • Posted on May 23, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Freshman Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) hit a two-run single to cap a five-run fifth inning, as the Scarlet Knights took a 5-4 lead, en route to an 8-7 victory over West Virginia. The victory allows RU to advance in the 2003 BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ. Senior Sean Atchison (Florham Park, NJ) provided 4.2 innings of solid relief work to earn the win for the Scarlet Knights (35-19). The win also marks the 800th victory in the illustrious career of head coach Fred Hill.

    West Virginia took a 3-0 lead after three innings, as the Mountaineers were able to get to RU starter Aaron Kalb (Middletown, NJ) for two runs in the second and one run in the third. Rutgers was able to manage little offense in the first four innings on WVU starter Jason DiAngelo. Rutgers had an opportunity in the fourth inning when Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) and Defendis both earned one-out walks. With Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ) at the plate, the skies opened, causing a 10-minute rain delay and when play resumed, Cerulo hit a line shot to Grant Psomas at short, who beat Gaynor back to the bag at second for the double play, ending the Rutgers threat.

    Trailing 4-0 in the fifth inning, the Scarlet Knights benefited from DiAngelo’s erratic pitching as they produced three runs without recording a hit. With one out, Graig Badger (Union, NJ) was hit by a pitch, followed by a Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) walk and Jeff Frazier being hit as well. With the bases loaded, Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) earned an RBI walk, plating Badger. Steve Normane (Point Pleasant, NJ) followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Wolski. After a walk to Gaynor, Frazier scored on a passed ball. Following a pitching change, Defendis cleared the bases with a single up the middle, giving RU the 5-4 advantage.

    Rutgers added three runs in the seventh to take an 8-4 lead. Gaynor and Defendis each recorded one-out singles, and after a fly out by Cerulo, Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) singled through the right side, plating Gaynor. After the runners advanced on a wild pitch – the third of the game for WVU – Badger hit a two-run single to left, which proved to be a very important hit.

    Atchison managed 2.2 innings of shutout relief before the Mountaineers’ Kurtis Clinton homered to lead off the eighth. Atchison regained his composure, retiring the next three batters to end the inning. In the top of the ninth, Jarod Rine led off the inning with a single, and after retiring the next two batters, Atchison surrendered a home run to Tim McCabe – his second of the game – to cut the Rutgers lead to 8-7. Atchison rebounded again, striking out Jake Serfass to end the game and advance Rutgers to the championship round.

    In the first game of the day, Rutgers lost to Notre Dame 9-3. The Irish scored two runs in the first, and held a three run lead before surrendering a run to the Scarlet Knights on a Badger RBI single in the fifth. Notre Dame scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to chase Rutgers starter Shaun Parker (Westhampton, NJ). Senior Normane hit a two-run homer off Toms River native Ryan Doherty in the eighth, but that was all the offense the Scarlet Knights were able to muster.

    The Scarlet Knights will face Notre Dame in the championship round tomorrow at 3:30 pm. If Rutgers wins, the teams will play a rematch at 7:00 pm to determine the tournament champion. This marks the second season in a row that Rutgers and Notre Dame will face off to determine the conference champion.

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                         WVU vs Rutgers
                     May 23, 2003 at Bridgewater, NJ (Commerce Bank Ballpk)
    
      WVU 6 (36-19)                                 Rutgers 8 (35-19)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      Rine cf....................  5  0  4  1       BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  1  1  2
      Grimm 2b...................  4  0  0  0       WOLSKI, Matt dh............  3  1  2  0
      Fritz rf...................  4  0  0  0       FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  2  1  0  0
      McCabe 3b..................  4  3  3  3       ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  4  1  0  1
      Serfass lf.................  5  0  1  0       NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  4  0  1  1
      Clinton 1b.................  3  1  1  2       GAYNOR, Colin c............  2  2  1  0
      Posluszny dh...............  2  1  0  0       DEFENDIS, Johnny lf........  4  1  3  2
       Cisar ph..................  1  0  0  0       CERULO, Nick cf............  5  0  1  0
      Psomas ss..................  4  1  1  1       BIONDE, Mike ss............  3  1  1  1
      D'Amico c..................  2  0  0  0       KALB, Aaron p..............  0  0  0  0
      DiAngelo p.................  0  0  0  0        ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0
       Lipscomb p................  0  0  0  0
       Amedro p..................  0  0  0  0
       Walker p..................  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 34  6 10  7       Totals..................... 30  8 10  7
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      WVU................. 021 010 011 -  6 10  0
      Rutgers............. 000 050 30X -  8 10  1
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - GAYNOR(2). DP - WVU 2; Rutgers 1. LOB - WVU 8; Rutgers 12. 2B - Serfass. 3B -
      Psomas. HR - McCabe 2; Clinton. HBP - BADGER; FRAZIER 2. SF - Clinton; NORMANE(4).
      SB - Rine; DEFENDIS(7). CS - Serfass.
    
      WVU                            IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      DiAngelo  L,8-5............   4.2  3  5  5  7  1   0  0  2  0   14 24  10  1
      Lipscomb ..................   0.0  1  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    1  1   0  0
      Amedro ....................   2.1  6  3  3  3  2   2  0  1  0   13 17   1  4
      Walker ....................   1.0  0  0  0  0  0   1  0  0  0    2  2   1  1
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      KALB, Aaron ...............   4.1  6  4  4  4  0   0  0  0  0   17 22   3  9
      ATCHISON, Sean  W,5-1......   4.2  4  2  2  2  5   0  0  0  0   17 19   6  2
    
      WP - Amedro 2; Walker. HB - DiAngelo 2; Amedro. PB - D'Amico.
    
      Strikeouts - McCabe; Serfass; Posluszny; Psomas 2; FRAZIER; BIONDE 2. Walks - Grimm;
      Fritz; McCabe; Posluszny; D'Amico 2; BADGER; WOLSKI 2; FRAZIER; ESPOSITO; GAYNOR 3;
      DEFENDIS; BIONDE.
    
      Umpires -
      Start: 7:30   Time: 3:42   Attendance: 1203
      Game: WV-BE
    
      Lipscomb faced 1 batter in the 5th.
      Amedro faced 2 batters in the 8th.
    
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