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Rutgers baseball takes 2 out of 3 games in Carolinas Coastline Classic

Sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko set a new career high with four hits in one game as the Rutgers baseball team took 2 of 3 games at the Carolinas Coastline Classic. – Photo by Eric Miller / Scarletknights

On Saturday, the Rutgers baseball team finished the Carolinas Coastline Classic Tournament. The Scarlet Knights (5-1, 0-0) dropped a game to Coastal Carolina before sweeping North Carolina Wilmington in a Saturday doubleheader.

Originally, Rutgers was supposed to play yesterday. Due to inclement weather, the game was canceled and the program replaced that game with a Saturday doubleheader against the Seahawks (5-2, 0-0).

The Knights started the Carolinas Coastline Classic on Friday with a 15-10 loss to the Chanticleers (7-1, 0-0). Both team's offenses took center stage as both Rutgers and Coastal Carolina had 15 hits in the game. 

The Knights struck first in the top of the first inning when junior outfielder Richie Schiekofer singled through the left side to score fifth-year senior outfielder Mike Nyisztor

In the bottom of the first, the Chanticleers responded by putting up three runs. By the start of the fifth inning, the score was 8-5 in favor of Coastal Carolina. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Chanticleers put up five runs and pulled away from Rutgers for good. In the following four innings, the Knights would score four runs, but it would not be enough as Coastal Carolina would put up two more runs of its own to finish out the game.

"The hitters did a great job of swinging at strikes, getting good counts and consistently hitting the ball hard. We had 15 hits on a Friday with 10 runs — that should be enough to win,” said head coach Steve Owens. “Obviously, we pitched poorly. We didn't control the game on the mound, poor execution in key spots."

In the first game of the doubleheader against North Carolina Wilmington, Rutgers’ offense stayed hot, as the team scored eight runs in the first three innings and 12 runs in total to win the game 12-5. 

The Knights had 18 hits by the end of this game due to a career-high four-hit performance from sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko. Graduate student pitcher Jared Kollar pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs in the win. 

In the second game of the doubleheader, Rutgers completed the sweep with a 2-0 win. In the top of the third inning, Nyisztor scored a run off a wild pitch, and then in the top of the fourth inning, sophomore infielder Tony Santa Maria hit a solo home run. 

That would be all the runs the Knights would need as four Rutgers pitchers combined to shutout the Seahawks. Graduate student pitcher Nathan Florence got the start, pitched five innings and struck out nine batters. Junior pitcher Dale Stanavich came in relief and recorded the save, pitching 1.1 innings and striking out all four batters he faced.

This is the Knights’ best start to a season since 2005, and they will look to continue their hot streak when they play Saint Joseph’s tomorrow.

“All games count throughout the season ... we want to win weekends, and we did," Owens said.

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

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