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Rutgers baseball defeats St. John's before weekend series against Purdue

Freshman outfielder Trevor Cohen hit a clutch 3-run double in the ninth inning to help Rutgers baseball defeat Saint Joseph's yesterday. – Photo by Rich Grassle /

The Rutgers baseball team won another midweek matchup with a victory over St. John's yesterday in Queens, New York. The Scarlet Knights (25-16, 7-5) have a perfect 11-0 record for their midweek games this season and will look for more success against another Big Ten foe.

Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Marshall got the start for Rutgers and pitched a scoreless three innings in what was a bullpen day for the Knights.

Though the arms were hot for Rutgers, the bats were cold until the ninth inning. Down by 1 run and down to its last out in the top half of the ninth inning, freshman outfielder Trevor Cohen sent a double deep to right field with the bases loaded for the Knights.

Cohen scored all three runners, and right-handed pitcher Ben Gorski came in to close the door for his fifth save of the season on the way to a 3-1 victory.

Now, with 25 wins, Rutgers will stay on the road for a date with Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Boilermakers (19-20, 8-7) are coming off a series loss to Maryland. Before that, the team gained series wins against Penn State, Minnesota and Northwestern.

Purdue bats a solid .284 batting average which puts them at eighth in that category throughout the Big Ten as of yesterday.

One of the Boilermakers' key contributors at the plate is Paul Toetz, who owns a batting average of .349 along with a 1.04 on base plus slugging percentage (OPS). As of yesterday, he leads the team in hits, doubles, home runs and runs batted in (RBI).

Purdue has multiple other bats to keep an eye on, including Evan Albrecht, Jake Parr, Mike Bolton Jr. and Jake Jarvis. All four batters own batting averages of at least .295, with their OPS more than .800.

On the mound, the Boilermakers own a collective 5.13 earned run average (ERA) which puts them at eighth in the conference in regard to that statistic.

Purdue's starting pitchers have struggled this season. Khal Stephen and Jonathan Blackwell have appeared in 10 games for the Boilermakers thus far, starting in all of them. Both pitchers own ERAs in the high fours range with walks and hits per innings pitch (WHIP) rates of at least 1.3. Stephen and/or Blackwell will most likely get their 11th start of the year when the Knights roll into town to face off against Purdue.

Before the weekend's contest, the Boilermakers will play in their own midweek matchup this afternoon with a home matchup against Miami (Ohio). They were supposed to play against Valparaiso yesterday, but the game was postponed.

Rutgers and Purdue will begin their series at Alexander Field in West Lafayette, Indiana, at 6 p.m. on Friday. Saturday's game is set for 5 p.m., while the series finale will begin at noon on Sunday. Friday and Sunday's contests will be available on Big Ten Network+, while Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.

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

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