FORT MYERS, Fla. – In the finale of an eight-game spring break trip, Rutgers baseball came up short against No. 21 Florida Gulf Coast Sunday at Swanson Stadium. The Scarlet Knights have now played a ranked opponent in 9-of-19 games this season.
RU (6-13) will next head back to New Jersey to prepare for a Tuesday game against Rider, which is a change to the schedule. First pitch at Bainton Field is arranged for 3 p.m.
Against the Eagles (18-3), both senior Tom Marcinczyk and junior Chris Folinusz collected two hits offensively. Senior Gaby Rosa (2-1) took his first loss of the season in a 4.1-inning start, while veteran relievers Ryan Fleming (1.2 innings) and Max Herrmann (two innings) followed from the bullpen.
Florida Gulf Coast ran out to a 6-0 lead by scoring two in the second, fourth and fifth innings. The Scarlet Knights then cut into the deficit with a three-run seventh inning. Marcinczyk and junior Milo Freeman both singled with one out to put runners at the corners. Sophomore Mike Martinez next reached on an error to allow Marcinczyk to cross the plate, with Folinusz coming through with an RBI single. After that, junior Kyle Walker was called in as a pinch hitter and delivered a single to center field to knock in a run.
However, FGCU added two insurance runs in the eighth to claim an 8-3 advantage. Peyton Gray (2-0) took the win with six strikeouts and two earned runs allowed over 6.1 innings, as the Eagles’ staff did not surrender a walk. The home team had 12 hits highlighted by home run by Alex Brait.
The Scarlet Knights will continue its stretch of 25 non-conference games to start the season Tuesday versus Rider. RU has one more weekend before beginning Big Ten play March 31.
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