TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Rutgers baseball team saw its 2003 season come to an end with an 17-7 loss to top-ranked Florida State tonight in an elimination game at the NCAA Regional at Tallahassee, FL. The Seminoles dropped to the losers’ bracket with an 8-6 loss to South Alabama and scored five runs in the fourth and eight more in the fifth to seal the victory. With the loss, RU ends its season at 37-22." />
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Top-Ranked FSU Ends Rutgers’ Season in 17-7 Regional Loss
  • Posted on May 31, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Rutgers baseball team saw its 2003 season come to an end with an 17-7 loss to top-ranked Florida State tonight in an elimination game at the NCAA Regional at Tallahassee, FL. The Seminoles dropped to the losers’ bracket with an 8-6 loss to South Alabama and scored five runs in the fourth and eight more in the fifth to seal the victory. With the loss, RU ends its season at 37-22.

    The Seminoles struck first, scoring a single run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Bryan Zech and added two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead. After RU starter Aaron Kalb (Middletown, NJ) got two quick outs, he walked Eddy Martinez-Esteve and gave up a booming fly ball to center off the bat of Jerrod Brown. Center field Nick Cerulo (Woodbridge, NJ) gave chase, crashing into the centerfield wall as the ball skipped toward left-center. With Cerulo on the ground and shaken by the collision, Brown sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

    In the fourth, FSU added five more, using a throwing error by Kalb to score the first run and a pair of two-run hits by the Seminoles, building an 8-0 lead.

    Rutgers’ never-say-die attitude came through in the fourth as the Scarlet Knights plated four runs. Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) hammered the third pitch of the inning into the trees beyond the fence in right for his fourth home run of the season and second of the day. Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) followed with a double down the line in left and Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) followed with a walk. Then, with one out, Cerulo singled up the middle to plate Normane and Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) drove in another with an RBI groundout. With Cerulo on second, Graig Badger (Union, NJ) finished off the scoring with a single through the left side, cutting the lead in half, 8-4.

    The Seminoles responded with eight runs in the top of the fifth inning against Erik Dial (Basking Ridge, NJ) and Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ) to put the game away, punctuated by a prodigious two-run home run by Dan Wardell and a two-run, wall-scraping blast by Blake Balkcom.

    Rutgers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth when freshman Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY) doubled to center field, scoring Gaynor and Esposito.

    For a team with 17 newcomers that earned a BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, a trip to the NCAA Regionals with a win over Jacksonville and 37 wins, the 2004 season, while nine months away, offers an exciting future.

    Box score (NCAA)
                              2003 Florida State Baseball
                                Florida State vs Rutgers
                     May 31, 2003 at Tallahassee, FL (Dick Howser)
    
    Florida State 17 (52-11-1)
    
    Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Stephen Drew ss..........  5  2  2  1   1  0  0  3   3
    Tony McQuade lf..........  3  1  1  1   1  1  1  0   0
     Brandon Manasa ph/lf....  1  0  0  0   1  0  1  0   3
    Tony Richie c............  4  2  2  3   1  0  4  0   0
     Aaron Cheesman c........  1  0  0  0   0  0  5  0   0
    Eddy Martinez-Esteve dh..  2  1  1  2   1  0  0  0   1
     Daniel Wardell pr.......  3  1  1  2   0  0  0  0   0
    Jerrod Brown 1b..........  5  3  2  2   1  0  8  1   1
    Blake Balkcom rf.........  6  2  2  2   0  1  3  0   1
    Chris Hart 3b............  5  2  4  0   0  0  0  1   0
     Kevin Richmond ph/3b....  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
    Bryan Zech 2b............  0  2  0  2   4  0  4  2   0
    Matt Sauls cf............  5  1  0  1   0  1  0  0   1
    Mark Sauls p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
     Eddie Cannon p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     Matt DiBlasi p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     Kevin Lynch p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     Daniel Hodges p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
    Totals................... 41 17 15 16  10  3 27  9  10
    
    Rutgers 7 (37-22)
    
    Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
    ------------------------------------------------------
    BADGER, Graig 2b.........  4  0  3  1   0  1  2  2   0
     SHADE, Leon ph/lf.......  2  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
    WOLSKI, Matt dh..........  3  0  1  0   0  2  0  0   1
     RODRIGUEZ, Cory ph/2b...  2  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   0
    FRAZIER, Jeff rf.........  4  0  1  0   0  0  3  0   1
     GROSE, Jeff ph/rf.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
    ESPOSITO, Vinny 3b.......  4  1  1  1   0  0  1  0   2
     VASQUEZ, Alberto ph.....  1  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
    NORMANE, Steve 1b........  5  2  2  0   0  2  9  1   2
    GAYNOR, Colin c..........  2  1  1  0   2  0  3  0   0
     MOSKOWITZ, Lee c........  1  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
    DEFENDIS, Johnny lf/cf...  5  0  2  3   0  0  1  0   0
    CERULO, Nick cf..........  4  1  1  1   0  1  5  0   3
     MALAFRONTE, Tom p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
    BIONDE, Mike ss..........  2  0  0  1   0  0  1  1   0
     GROVER, Jason ph/ss.....  2  0  0  0   1  2  1  0   0
    KALB, Aaron p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
     PUSTAY, Matt p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     DIAL, Erik p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
     LILLIS, Chris p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
     JANSEN, Jim p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
    Totals................... 42  7 15  7   3  9 27  8  11
    
    Score by Innings                    R  H  E
    -------------------------------------------
    Florida State....... 012 580 100 - 17 15  0
    Rutgers............. 000 410 002 -  7 15  3
    -------------------------------------------
    
    E - ESPOSITO(15); NORMANE(7); KALB(1). DP - Knights 1. LOB - Seminoles 10;
    Knights 11. 2B - Richie(25); Hart 2(9); NORMANE(14); DEFENDIS(5). HR -
    Wardell(5); Brown(5); Balkcom(9); ESPOSITO(4). SH - Matt Sauls(9). SF - Zech
    2(5). SB - Drew(33); McQuade 2(25); BADGER(41).
    
    Florida State          IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
    -----------------------------------------------
    Mark Sauls..........  5.0 10  5  5  1  4 25 26
    Eddie Cannon........  1.0  1  0  0  1  1  4  5
    Matt DiBlasi........  1.0  0  0  0  1  1  3  4
    Kevin Lynch.........  1.0  1  0  0  0  1  4  4
    Daniel Hodges.......  1.0  3  2  2  0  2  6  6
    
    Rutgers                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
    -----------------------------------------------
    KALB, Aaron.........  3.0  4  6  5  4  1 13 18
    PUSTAY, Matt........  1.0  2  2  2  1  2  5  6
    DIAL, Erik..........  0.1  3  4  4  1  0  3  5
    LILLIS, Chris.......  0.0  3  4  4  1  0  3  4
    JANSEN, Jim.........  3.2  3  1  1  2  0 14 17
    MALAFRONTE, Tom.....  1.0  0  0  0  1  0  3  4
    
    Win - Mark Sauls (5-0).  Loss - KALB (2-3).  Save - None.
    WP - DIAL(5); JANSEN(2). BK - Mark Sauls(2); PUSTAY(3); JANSEN(3).
    Umpires - HP: Tim Catton  1B: John Ausmus  2B: Larry Randall  3B: David Buck
    Start: 8:05   Time: 3:10   Attendance: 3288
    KALB faced 3 batters in the 4th.
    LILLIS faced 4 batters in the 5th.
    Game: REG5
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