The Rutgers baseball team will look to continue its early-season success when it competes in the Carolinas Coastline Classic this weekend.
The Scarlet Knights (3-0, 0-0) started their season by sweeping Houston Baptist last weekend. In the three-game series, Rutgers scored 32 runs and only allowed eight runs.
The Knights will open the Carolinas Coastline Classic on Friday in Conway, South Carolina, with a game against Coastal Carolina. Then on Saturday, the Knights will head up to Wilmington, North Carolina, to play North Carolina Wilmington before heading back down to Conway, South Carolina, to finish the weekend with a game against Middle Tennessee.
On the mound, Rutgers is led by junior pitcher Dale Stanavich and sophomore pitcher Brian Fitzpatrick. This week, Stanavich was named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List, which goes to the best relief pitcher in Division I baseball.
Against the Huskies (0-3, 0-0), Stanavich pitched 1.2 innings in relief with a 0.00 earned run average (ERA). He also allowed zero hits and zero walks.
Fitzpatrick started the season-opener and pitched four innings while allowing zero hits and striking out seven batters.
“(Fitzpatrick) really went to another level in the offseason.” said head coach Steve Owens. “He became a more complete pitcher with his repertoire, conditioning and execution.”
On offense, the Knights will look to continue their strong start to the season. After the first three games, junior outfielder Richie Schiekofer has a .571 batting average with four runs batted in (RBIs) and a double. Sophomore infielder Tony Santa Maria also had a strong start to the season as he is hitting .385 with eight RBIs and four doubles.
Other key contributors for Rutgers are sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko, junior infielder Chris Brito and sophomore pitcher Sam Bello. Against Houston Baptist, Bello pitched 4.1 innings with three strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA in relief.
On Friday, the Knights will play a Chanticleers team (3-1, 0-0) that has also started the season red-hot. In Coastal Carolina’s first four games, Dale Thomas has eight hits. On the mound, Michael Knorr has gotten off to a fast start pitching 6.1 innings with 10 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.
The Seahawks (4-0, 0-0) have also started the season undefeated with two wins against St. John's and two wins against the Lightning (1-3, 0-0). Bryan Arendt leads North Carolina Wilmington with a .444 batting average and on the bases, Brooks Baldwin is a threat with five steals on the season.
The Knights will close out the Carolinas Coastline Classic with a game against Middle Tennessee. The Lightning has struggled to start the season, winning their season opener before dropping the next three games. Middle Tennessee is led by pitcher Jaden Hamm who has pitched 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.
Friday’s game against the Chanticleers will start at 4 p.m. on ESPN+, Saturday’s game against the Seahawks will start at the same time on FloBaseball and Sunday’s game against the Lightning will start at 11 a.m. with live stats provided on ScarletKnights.com.
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