Rutgers baseball set to visit Northwestern following win against Monmouth
The Rutgers baseball team will hit the road to face Northwestern this weekend. The Scarlet Knights (21-16, 4-5) earned a win over Monmouth yesterday before traveling to Evanston, Illinois, to face the Wildcats (6-25, 3-6).
Rutgers came off of a winning series against Michigan last weekend, taking 2 of the 3 at Bainton Field on Livingston campus. Alongside the team's successes, freshman right-handed pitcher Christian Coppola was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for his performance on the mound.
Coppola threw eight innings for the Knights, allowing no runs and only five hits. The freshman also recorded 12 strikeouts, leading Rutgers to a shutout 13-0 victory against Michigan. The player should be riding high when he steps on the mound next.
The Knights headed down the shore to visit the Hawks (12-20, 3-13) yesterday, getting an 8-1 victory. Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Marshall got the win for Rutgers, facing 10 batters with three strikeouts, no walks and no runs.
Senior infielder Chris Brito led the offensive charge for the Knights, going 3-for-5 with three runs batted in (RBI) along with an extra-base hit.
Rutgers dominated the pace of the game, keeping Monmouth scoreless until the final two innings.
Following their win, the Knights will take a road trip to face fellow Big Ten competitor Northwestern over the weekend. The two are scheduled to meet in a three-game series where the Wildcats will have the home-field advantage.
Northwestern has had a difficult season so far, collecting only 6 wins in its 31 games, three of those wins coming from conference competition.
The Wildcats had a four-game losing streak before winning their last game against Northern Illinois yesterday.
Northwestern is ranked last in batting average, total hits and RBIs. It is also second to last in home runs. This could be the perfect opportunity for Rutgers to earn its first conference sweep of the season.
The Wildcat’s best hitter is Stephen Hrustich, who owns a batting average of more than .300 and an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of more than .950. Griffin Arnone is Northwestern's best power hitter, with seven long balls on the year.
The Wildcats have a combined bullpen earned run average (ERA) of more than 9, which puts them way at the top of that category throughout the Big Ten. The Knights have been picking up some momentum in their last few outings, pushing out strong performances not only at the plate but in the field as well.
Rutgers will get its first shot against Northwestern this Friday at 3 p.m. at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park in Evanston, Illinois. The two will face off once again on Saturday at 1 p.m. and then on Sunday at noon. The series will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+.
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