PISCATAWAY, N.J. – In a seesaw affair, Seton Hall’s Rob Dadona hit an inside-the-park home run with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning to deal Rutgers baseball a heartbreaking 10-9 loss Wednesday at Owen T. Carroll Field. The marathon game lasted five hours, eight minutes and included exactly 241 pitches thrown by each side.
Senior Mike Carter went 4-for-6 with a walk, a home run, two runs and two RBIs to finish the midweek set at 7-for-11. He is hitting a Big Ten-best .397 for the season and .452 in non-conference games. Sophomore Jawuan Harris added two hits and two RBIs, while classmate Mike Martinez reached base four times on two singles and two walks. RU (13-21) compiled 15 hits and drew 10 walks on the day, scoring at least six runs for the sixth-straight game.
On the mound, sophomore Dante Scafidi made his first start of the season and allowed just one hit in 3.2 innings. The left-hander threw three scoreless frames to start the outing. Freshman Kyle Gerace was the first of six relievers used, striking out two in 1.1 innings. In his team-leading 17th appearance, senior Ryan Fleming did not allow a run in two frames in extra innings.
Down 5-4 heading into the seventh inning, the Scarlet Knights rallied for two runs to take the lead. Sophomore Nick Matera earned a walk in a 10-pitch plate appearance and junior Milo Freeman singled with one out to put two aboard. That brought up freshman Kevin Welsh, who roped an RBI double down the right-field line to tie the score. A fielder’s choice at home plate went down as the second out, but Harris came through with a single up the middle to put Rutgers ahead.
Sophomore Ryan Wares kept the lead after the seventh-inning stretch by escaping a two-on, one-out jam. The right-hander induced a chopper up the middle that Welsh snared, touched second and flipped to first for the inning-ending double play.
That led to the eighth, where RU plated an insurance run. Senior Tom Marcinczyk worked a walk and classmate Christian Campbell followed with a single before the second out was recorded. The two then went into motion for a double steal, as the ball thrown into the outfield to allow Marcinczyk to come across.
However, the Pirates (18-16) scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to knot the game at seven.
Rutgers answered back with two in the top of the ninth. Freeman walked to start it off and was pinch run for by redshirt freshman Tommy Genuario, who advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Welsh. Carter came up next, lining a single off the pitcher’s foot to put runners at the corners. With Harris up, Seton Hall elected for an intentional walk, but a balk before the third ball allowed Genuario to jog home. Harris was then pitched to and laced an RBI double to make it 9-7 in favor of the Scarlet Knights.
The lead would not last, though, after a bases-loaded walk and an RBI fielder’s choice tied it up and forced extra innings.
The best chance for Rutgers after that came in the 11th when junior Kyle Walker hit a one-out single and ran to third on an infield knock by Carter that got away. The runners were left on after a fly out.
Freshman Kyle Muller (0-1) came on in the 12th inning and retired the first two hitters before facing Dadona. The left fielder struck a 1-0 pitch to the deepest part of the park in right-center and circled the bases before the relay could be completed. Matt Ponsiglione (1-0) earned the win for Seton Hall.
The Scarlet Knights will return to Big Ten play over the weekend with a three-game series at Iowa. The set will start Friday at 7 p.m. ET on BTN Plus.
SEE YA! Carter crushes a two-run shot to expand the lead to four; third homer of the season.
4-0 RU T4 pic.twitter.com/xFOSGw3K6A
— Rutgers Baseball (@BaseballRU) April 19, 2017
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