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Rutgers baseball earns national ranking for 1st time in 12 years

For the first time in more than a decade, the Rutgers baseball team appeared in a national ranking as Collegiate Baseball placed the program at No. 22 in this week's poll. – Photo by

For the first time in 12 years, the Rutgers baseball team has achieved ranked status. The No. 22 Scarlet Knights (25-6, 8-1) were recognized in this afternoon’s Collegiate Newspaper Baseball Rankings.

After a sweep of preseason favorite and defending Big Ten champion Nebraska over the weekend, Rutgers now sits atop the conference with a .889 conference winning percentage and rides a 10-game winning streak.

The Knights have earned this ranking thanks to an all-around team effort. They lead the Big Ten in hitting with a .322 average, have the lowest earned run average (ERA) at 3.11 and set the standard in fielding percentage with a mark of .980. 

After losing ace junior pitcher Harry Rutkowski to the Blue Jays and other weekend starters graduate student pitchers Ben Wereski and Brent Teller to graduation, head coach Steve Owens and his staff hit the transfer portal and added graduate student pitchers Jared Kollar and Nathan Florence. Both players have solidified themselves as starters with ERAs of 2.70 and 2.75, respectively.

The offensive charge has been led by junior catcher Nick Cimillo, who leads the team in almost all categories, such as batting average, home runs and on-base percentage.

His presence has led other returning players like sophomore outfielder Ryan Lasko, graduate student shortstop Danny DiGeorgio and transfer sophomore infielder Tony Santa Maria to have strong starts to the season. The trio has a combined 128 hits to go along with 17 home runs.

With a deep pitching staff and a lineup that has been on fire as of late, Rutgers will look to keep it all going with six straight home games coming up. It all starts tomorrow as Lafayette visits Piscataway followed by Penn on Wednesday. The Knights’ next series is this weekend against Indiana.

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

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