Rutgers Baseball Falls To Northwestern, 7-5, In Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge
Scarlet Knights Wrap Up Play in Tournament Against Purdue 10 a.m. Sunday
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 27, 2010) – The Rutgers baseball team dropped a 7-5 decision to Northwestern in its second game of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge Saturday afternoon at the Naimoli Baseball Complex in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Scarlet Knights (0-5) faced a 3-0 early deficit after Quentin Williams delivered a two-run home run with two outs in the second inning and Chad Noble had a solo blast with two outs in the third frame for the Wildcats (2-4).
Northwestern built a 4-0 advantage when Trevor Fields led off the fifth with a triple and scored on a Arby Fields single one play later.
Rutgers put its first two runners on in the bottom half of the frame as D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) reached on an error and Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) was issued a base on balls. Freshman Steve Nyisztor (Toms River, N.J.) delivered his first career extra-base hit in a timely fashion with a double to right field to bring both runners home and cut the lead in half.
A Chris Kontos solo home run in the sixth made it 5-2 and chased RU starter Dennis Hill (Hillsdale, N.J.) out of the game.
Rutgers responded with a run of its own in the bottom half of the sixth as Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.) singled to lead off the frame and came around to score four plays later on a Boykin single.
The Scarlet Knights and Wildcats traded single runs again in the seventh with Northwestern’s Chris Lashmet and RU’s Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) each delivering solo home runs.
Northwestern pushed its lead to 7-4 on a Fields RBI single off newly-inserted Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) in the eighth.
The Wildcats went to their bullpen in the ninth as Michael Jahns came in for starter Francis Brooke. His stay was short lived as Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) greeted him with a double to the gap in right-center field and Nyisztor singled him home two plays later to make it 7-5. A second pitching change in the inning brought Matt Gailey to the mound for Northwestern. RU brought the winning run to the plate but the Wildcat hurler held off the Scarlet Knights with two strikeouts to preserve the victory.
Brooke (1-0) took the win for Northwestern with a pair of strikeouts and four runs allowed (one earned) in eight innings of work, while Gailey picked up his first save of the season in the ninth. Hill (0-2) took the loss with a strikeout and five runs allowed in 5.1 innings of work.
Nyisztor drove in three of the Scarlet Knights’ five runs on the day.
Rutgers will close out play in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge Sunday with a 10 a.m. contest against Purdue. Sophomore righty Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) will be on the mound for the Scarlet Knights against senior lefty Matt Jansen for the Boilermakers.