BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Rutgers University baseball team earned a hard-fought, come-from-behind 15-11 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon to force a winner-take-all match up with the Irish, set to begin approximately 8:05 p.m. The thrilling affair included a six-run effort by Rutgers in the top of the ninth." />
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Rutgers Downs Notre Dame, 15-11 To Force Winner-Take-All Championship Game
  • Posted on May 24, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Rutgers University baseball team earned a hard-fought, come-from-behind 15-11 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon to force a winner-take-all match up with the Irish, set to begin approximately 8:05 p.m. The thrilling affair included a six-run effort by Rutgers in the top of the ninth.

    Rutgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, driving home two runs in the first inning and another in the second. The Scarlet Knights built on their lead, opening up a 7-1 edge with four runs in the fourth frame. Rutgers stretched its lead, scoring two more runs in the top half of the sixth, but Notre Dame countered, scoring six runs in the bottom half of the inning to close the gap to three (9-6). The Irish tallied two runs each in the seventh and eighth to take an 11-9 lead, heading into the ninth inning.

    Down for the first time in the game, Rutgers scored six runs in the ninth to take the lead for good, 15-11. Bridgewater, NJ native Cory Rodriguez led off the inning with a pinch-hit single and Graig Badger (Union, NJ) doubled to center field to put the tying runs in scoring position. Senior Matt Wolski (Hamilton, NJ) then singled up the middle, scoring Rodriguez and Badger to tie the contest. Jeff Frazier (Toms River, NJ) drilled a double to left center to bring home Wolski for the deciding run in the contest. Rutgers then tacked on three insurance runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Alberto Vasquez (Jersey City, NJ). Sean Atchison (Hanover Park, NJ), less than 24 hours after throwing 86 pitches to earn the win vs. West Virginia, closed the door on Notre Dame with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

    The game featured 26 combined runs, the most ever for a BIG EAST Championship, surpassing 24 runs set by Rutgers (14) and St. Johns’s (10) on May 15, 1998. Notre Dame pitchers issued a BIG EAST Championship record 13 walks, eclipsing the old mark of 12 set by Seton Hall and Villanova both on May 16, 1987. In addition, Badger reached base a championship-record seven times in the game (four walks, two doubles, one single).

                                  ** 2003 RUTGERS BASEBALL **
                                      Rutgers vs NOTRDAME
                     May 24, 2003 at Bridgewater, NJ (Commerce Bank Ballpk)
    
      Rutgers 15 (36-19)                            NOTRDAME 11 (42-16)
    
      Player                      AB  R  H BI       Player                      AB  R  H BI
      ---------------------------------------       ---------------------------------------
      BADGER, Graig 2b...........  3  2  3  2       Steve Sollmann 2b..........  5  1  1  0
      WOLSKI, Matt dh............  4  3  2  3       Craig Cooper lf............  2  1  1  0
      FRAZIER, Jeff rf...........  5  3  2  2        Brennan Grogan lf.........  1  1  1  1
      ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.........  6  0  2  2       Matt Edwards 3b............  5  1  1  1
      NORMANE, Steve 1b..........  3  2  2  1       Kris Billmaier cf..........  4  3  2  0
      VASQUEZ, Alberto c.........  6  1  1  2       Matt Bransfield dh.........  2  0  0  0
      DEFENDIS, Johnny lf........  6  1  1  1        Steve Andres ph/dh........  2  1  2  3
      CERULO, Nick cf............  5  1  2  1       Matt Macri ss..............  4  1  0  1
      BIONDE, Mike ss............  2  1  0  0       Cody Rizzo rf..............  3  1  0  0
       RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph........  2  1  2  0       Javi Sanchez c.............  5  1  3  3
       GROVER, Jason ss..........  0  0  0  0       Joe Thaman 1b..............  4  0  0  1
      PUSTAY, Matt p.............  0  0  0  0        Alex Nettey ph............  1  0  0  0
       DIAL, Erik p..............  0  0  0  0       Peter Ogilvie p............  0  0  0  0
       LILLIS, Chris p...........  0  0  0  0        John Axford p.............  0  0  0  0
       DECHRISTOFANO, OJ p.......  0  0  0  0        Tyler Jones p.............  0  0  0  0
       ATCHISON, Sean p..........  0  0  0  0        Brandon Viloria p.........  0  0  0  0
                                                     J.P. Gagne p..............  0  0  0  0
                                                     Martin Vergara p..........  0  0  0  0
      Totals..................... 42 15 17 14       Totals..................... 38 11 11 10
    
      Score by Innings                    R  H  E
      -------------------------------------------
      Rutgers............. 210 402 006 - 15 17  1
      NOTRDAME............ 001 006 220 - 11 11  3
      -------------------------------------------
    
      E - BADGER(6); S. Sollmann; Matt Edwards; Javi Sanchez. LOB - Rutgers 14; NOTRDAME
      8. 2B - BADGER 2(10); FRAZIER(18); VASQUEZ(6); CERULO(5); K. Billmaier 2; Steve
      Andres; Javi Sanchez. 3B - DEFENDIS(5). HBP - Cody Rizzo. SH - BIONDE(12); Matt
      Macri. CS - BADGER(7).
    
      Rutgers                        IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PUSTAY, Matt ..............   5.0  4  5  4  2  1   0  0  0  0   20 22  14  0
      DIAL, Erik ................   0.1  1  2  2  1  0   0  0  0  0    2  3   0  1
      LILLIS, Chris .............   1.0  4  2  2  2  0   0  0  1  0    6 10   1  2
      DECHRISTOFANO, OJ .........   1.0  1  2  2  1  1   0  0  0  0    4  5   1  1
      ATCHISON, Sean  W,6-1......   1.2  1  0  0  0  2   0  0  0  0    6  6   1  2
    
      NOTRDAME                       IP  H  R ER BB SO  WP BK HP IBB  AB BF  FO GO
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Peter Ogilvie .............   3.1  5  4  3  4  2   0  0  0  0   13 18   4  2
      John Axford ...............   2.1  5  5  4  7  3   1  0  0  0   12 19   3  1
      Tyler Jones ...............   1.1  0  0  0  0  1   0  0  0  0    4  4   1  2
      Brandon Viloria ...........   1.0  2  2  2  0  0   0  0  0  0    5  5   2  1
      J.P. Gagne  L,4-5..........   0.1  3  4  4  1  0   0  0  0  1    4  5   0  1
      Martin Vergara ............   0.2  2  0  0  1  0   0  0  0  0    4  5   1  1
    
      WP - John Axford. HB - LILLIS. PB - Javi Sanchez.
    
      Strikeouts - FRAZIER; ESPOSITO 3; DEFENDIS; CERULO; S. Sollmann; Matt Edwards; Matt
      Macri 2. Walks - BADGER 4; WOLSKI 3; FRAZIER; NORMANE 3; CERULO; BIONDE; S.
      Sollmann; Craig Cooper; B. Grogan; K. Billmaier; Steve Andres; Cody Rizzo.
      Umpires -
      Start: 3:30 pm   Time: 3:53   Attendance:
      Game: ND-BE2
    
      PUSTAY faced 4 batters in the 6th.
      B. Viloria faced 2 batters in the 9th.
    Next Game
    1:00 PM vs. CINCINNATI W, 3-1 
     
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