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Rutgers wins 12th consecutive home opener in 15-3 fashion

 – Photo by Benjamin Chelnitsky

Over the weekend, the Rutgers baseball team swept North Florida, outscoring the Ospreys (2-5) 37-13 in a three-game series.

Two days later, in their home opener at the newly-renovated Bainton Field, the Scarlet Knights (4-3) continued their success from the series into their game against Wagner, taking down the Seahawks (2-5) by a final score of 15-3.

Rutgers first jumped out to an early lead after Nick DeCarlo gave up a bases-loaded walk in the bottom half of the first, forcing in junior catcher Sam Owens, who previously reached base on a hit by pitch.

The next batter, senior infielder Kevin Welsh, tripled to right center, bringing in 3 more runs for the Knights while giving starting senior right-handed pitcher Jack Parkinson some breathing room in his three innings of work.

After keeping Wagner scoreless in the second to follow up a 1-2-3 first inning, Parkinson struggled to continue his success into the third.

Giving up a single to start the inning, Parkinson then allowed a double to Mike Ruggiero, allowing 1 of the Seahawks’ 3 runs to score. Wagner was able to bring in the next 2 runs off of an RBI groundout and triple in the third from Ethan Valdez and Freddy Sabido, respectively.

Despite allowing the Seahawks to come within 1, Rutgers’ pitching staff settled down after that, keeping Wagner scoreless through the rest of the game.

Head coach Steve Owens spoke on his team’s ability to put together a solid performance on the mound and in the field.

“Our pitchers threw strikes and our defense played errorless,” he said.

At the plate, the Knights had a much different outcome than their opponent following the 3-run inning.

Rutgers, though having stranded two men in the fourth, was able to bring in two in the fifth off of a junior infielder Danny DiGeorgio double. The RBIs were his fifth and sixth of the year and extended the Knights’ lead to 6-3 going into the sixth inning.

After reaching on a hit by pitch to start off the bottom half of the inning for Rutgers, junior infielder Mike Nyisztor was able to score on an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Richie Schiekofer. After a wild pitch, the Knights tacked on a run on a sacrifice fly.

Rutgers, in possession of an 8-3 lead by the end of the inning, scored four more times in the seventh and three more times in the eighth, heading into the final frame of the game with a 12-run lead.

Senior right-handed pitcher Steven Acosta toed the rubber for his team to record the final three outs in the ninth. He struck out the first two Seahawks and forced a groundout two batters later for the third. 

The appearance secured the Knights’ win in spite of the rainy conditions that existed throughout.

Steve Owens spoke about his team’s victory following the game.

“It was miserable with the rain, but the field held up and it was safe conditions to play in … I’m happy with the win under adverse conditions, great to win the home opener,” he said.

For updates on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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