Rutgers Baseball Drops Season Opener To No. 12 Miami
Scarlet Knights Fall 12-1 To Hurricanes
Coral Gables, Fla. (February 19, 2010) – The Rutgers baseball team opened the 2010 season with a 12-1 loss to No. 12 Miami in front of 3,287 fans at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Friday night in Coral Gables, Fla.
Miami (1-0) jumped out to an early lead with a second-inning home run Harold Martinez and used a strong pitching performance from Eric Erickson to earn the victory in the series opener.
Down 2-0, Rutgers (0-1) pushed across its lone run in the fourth. The Scarlet Knights capitalized on an infield error to put Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) on with one out in the frame. Junior Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) followed with a walk to move Betteridge into scoring position and fellow junior Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) drove him home with a single to center field.
The run cut the Miami lead in half at the time, but the Hurricanes responded with three runs in the fifth to chase starter Casey Gaynor (Toms River, N.J.) out of the game. UM built on its lead with a five-run sixth inning off relievers Billy Murphy (Cranford, N.J.) and Sean Campbell (Trenton, N.J.). Martinez capped the scoring for the Hurricanes with his second home run of the game, this time a three-run blast.
Miami added two runs in the eighth to make it 12-1.
Erikson (1-0) struck out six in 5.2 and didn’t surrender an earned run on just two hits to pick up the win for the Hurricanes. Gaynor (0-1) struck out four in 4.1 innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits in the loss for the Scarlet Knights.
Four Scarlet Knights made their collegiate debut in Friday’s season opener, including true freshmen Steve Nyisztor (Toms River, N.J.) and Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) and redshirt freshmen Justin Olsen (Westfield, N.J.) and Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.). Nyisztor started the contest at second base for the Scarlet Knights. Smorol entered as a pinch runner in the ninth and Olsen entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth, while Melillo came into catch in the eighth.
Rutgers and Miami will continue the series tomorrow with a 7 p.m. game. Senior lefty Dennis Hill (Hillsdale, N.J.) will be on the mound for the Scarlet Knights against junior lefty Chris Hernandez for the Hurricanes.