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No. 24 Rutgers baseball travels to Ohio State for weekend series

Sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko and the Rutgers baseball team look to continue their success away from home when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a weekend series against Ohio State.  – Photo by David Finer

The Rutgers baseball team will look to build from its midweek success when it takes on Ohio State at Bill Davis Stadium this weekend. The No. 24 Scarlet Knights (33-9, 12-3) take an 18-6 away record into their away series against the Buckeyes (13-23, 3-10).

On Tuesday, Rutgers won its lone midweek game 18-1 against Hofstra. After going scoreless the first two innings, the Knights used a six-run third inning and three-run fourth inning to take a 9-1 lead.

The program tacked on nine more runs in the final five frames to win the game 18-1. Sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko had an impressive day both on the field and at the plate. Lasko robbed a home run in the field and at the plate, he went 4-for-5 with four hits and four runs batted in (RBI).

"We ran a little bit today and got some stuff going. There were some good at-bats moving guys around," head coach Steve Owens said. "I think we stayed in a good approach, taking the pitches you can't pull for power and taking your hits where they were. We did a good job of that through the lineup."

Rutgers has been red hot in all three facets of the game so far this season. The program sits first in the Big Ten with a .318 team batting average and is the only team with a batting average greater than .300.

The Knights also sit first in earned run average (ERA) with a 3.22 mark as a team. Rutgers’ .979 fielding percentage is the best in the conference as well.

On offense, the Knights have been led by the trio of junior catcher Nick Cimillo, Lasko and junior infielder Chris Brito. Cimillo is second in the Big Ten with a .400 batting average, Lasko is first in hits with 60 and Brito is first with 52 RBIs.

Meanwhile, Ohio State is coming off of a tight weekend series loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes are currently penultimate in the Big Ten standings.

Ohio State has struggled statistically this season. The Buckeyes’ .271 team batting average is good for 10th in the Big Ten, and their 6.29 team ERA is the third-highest ERA in the conference.

Ohio State has also struggled to field. Its 67 errors are the most in the Big Ten and seven more errors than the next lowest team. The Buckeyes' .949 fielding percentage is also the lowest fielding percentage in the Big Ten.

Rutgers will have to worry about Marcus Ernst and Zach Dezenzo. Ernst leads Ohio State with a .360 batting average while Dezenzo is tied for third in the conference with 12 home runs.

The series will open up tomorrow at 6:05 p.m., continue Saturday at 3:05 p.m. and conclude on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. Big Ten Network+ will broadcast all three games as the Knights look to stay in first place in the Big Ten.

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

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