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Rutgers baseball prepares for 1st Big Ten road trip

The Rutgers baseball team will face off against Maryland, last year's Big Ten regular season champion, over the weekend. – Photo by Tom Gilbert /

The Rutgers baseball team is gearing up for its first conference road trip of the 2023 season after a four-game homestand last week. The Scarlet Knights (14-13, 1-2) will host Hofstra at Bainton Field on Livingston campus on Tuesday, before traveling to College Park, Maryland, this weekend.

This past week was very busy for Rutgers. The Knights earned a comeback victory against NJIT at the beginning of the week before suffering a series loss to Michigan State over the weekend. They went 1-2 in the series.

Despite ultimately losing the series, Rutgers gained a win on Sunday that highlighted the current team's offensive ability. That day, there were 4 home runs for the Knights, two of which were from junior outfielder Evan Sleight.

Rutgers is looking to bounce back this week, starting with a matchup against the Pride (10-16, 5-7) Tuesday afternoon.

Hofstra is on a two-game winning streak, having won two games in a row over Stony Brook this past weekend. The Pride has been fairly consistent when it comes to their offense but have been struggling in that the team has been allowing a lot of runs. This will be something that the Knights will be looking to take advantage of.

As the weekend rolls around, the Knights will travel south to face the 2022 Big Ten regular season champions: Maryland. The Terrapins (17-10, 2-1) had an impressive 18-5 conference record last season and are seemingly on pace to continue in that same fashion this spring. 

Maryland, like Rutgers, has only played in one Big Ten series thus far, where it won 2 out of 3 games against then-No. 22 Iowa.

Matt Shaw is off to a fantastic start for the Terrapins, averaging .349 with 30 runs batted in (RBI) and 10 home runs. Nick Lorusso has been stellar for Maryland as well, with a .376 batting average. Lorusso has hit 43 RBIs and 11 home runs, leading the Big Ten in both categories.

The Terrapins lead the conference with a .547 slugging percentage and a .425 on base percentage.

Maryland could send out two good pitchers to the mound to start in either of its three home games. Jason Savacool has started seven games for the Terrapins, limiting his earned run average (ERA) to a team-best 3.21 as well as a team-best 1.07 walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). He has racked up 44 strikeouts through 42 frames.

Kyle McCoy is a young arm that is also pitching well. The freshman owns a 3.94 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and has struck out 30 batters through 29.2 innings. Just a week ago, McCoy earned the honors of D1Baseball and Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, as well as conference Co-Freshman of the Week for his outstanding pitching.

Rutgers has its work cut out for itself against Maryland on the mound and in the batter’s box. The Knights will have to rise to the occasion this weekend to bring their conference record above the .500 mark in the early part of the Big Ten schedule.

Rutgers will be back in action at home on Tuesday against Hofstra at 4 p.m. with the game being broadcasted on Big Ten Network+. 

The Knights' and the Terrapins' first game on Friday will start at 6:30 p.m. at Shipley Field in College Park, Maryland, and will be available to watch on Big Ten Network+. The second game on Saturday will start at 2 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network. The series closer on Sunday between Rutgers and Maryland will have a first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.

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

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