Rutgers baseball sweeps Georgia Southern, earns combined no-hitter
The Rutgers baseball team improved its winning streak to four games with a weekend series sweep over Georgia Southern. In their third game, the Scarlet Knights (7-7, 0-0) threw a combined no-hitter for just the seventh time in program history.
Rutgers opened up the series on Friday with a solid pitching effort from junior right-handed pitcher Drew Conover. Conover pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three hits and 2 earned runs while striking out a career-high nine batters.
Entering the fourth inning trailing 2-0, the Knights' bats came alive with sophomore infielder Josh Kuroda-Grauer hitting a lead-off triple in the top of the fourth inning. Junior infielder Cameron Love then hit a two-out double to bring Kuroda-Grauer home.
Rutgers would add on four more runs in the following five innings. In the top of the sixth inning, junior outfielder Evan Sleight would help tie the game with an RBI single. Junior outfielder Ryan Lasko would cross home plate in the seventh inning to give the Knights their first lead of the game.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Joe Mazza and junior left-handed pitcher Grant Besser both pitched 1.1 innings in relief, allowing no runs and one hit combined. Rutgers won the game 5-2.
Due to inclement weather that was expected on Sunday, games two and three were played in a Saturday doubleheader.
In the second game, the Knights scored 6 runs in the third inning to put the game out of reach early on. Rutgers led 11-1 after the fifth inning. The Eagles (7-9, 0-0) attempted a comeback, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the attempt fell short. The Knights scored 8 runs in the final three frames to win by a score of 19-6.
Rutgers hit 4 home runs in the victory, including a grand slam off the bat of Kuroda-Grauer. The win also gave the Knights their first series win of the season. Freshman pitcher Christian Coppola recorded his first career win, pitching five innings and only allowing 1 earned run.
Rutgers pitched a combined no-hitter in the final game of the series. It was the program's first 9-inning no-hitter since 1978.
Junior left-handed pitchers Jake Marshall and Ben Gorski were responsible for the no-hitter. Marshall started the next game, totaling five shutout innings and nine strikeouts. Gorski came in relief and pitched four shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Senior infielder Chris Brito hit a 2-run home run in the top of the third inning. Brito ended the game with four RBIs. The Knights would score 7 runs on the way to a 7-0 victory and a series sweep.
Rutgers will continue its road trip when it travels to Kennesaw, Georgia, to face off against Kennesaw State on Wednesday. The Knights will then travel to Macon, Georgia, to play a three-game series against Mercer.
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