NORFOLK, Va. (March 15, 2011) – Senior Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) drove in three runs on four hits, including a fourth-inning two-run home run to lead the Rutgers baseball team to a 7-3 victory over Old Dominion Tuesday afternoon at Bud Metheny Complex in Norfolk, Va.
Eight of nine starters collected at least one hit in the Scarlet Knights’ 14-hit attack as RU improved to 6-8 on the season with the win. Old Dominion fell to 8-10 with the loss.
Rutgers got on the board early as the Scarlet Knights loaded the bases without recording an out in the first thanks to a pair of walks from Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) and Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) and an infield single from Lang. Senior D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) drove in RU’s first score of the game on the next play with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Zavala led off the third with a single up the middle, stole second and was sacrificed over to third where Anderson drove him in with a single to left field for his second RBI of the contest to give RU a 2-0 advantage.
Old Dominion loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the third as the Monarchs threatened to push across their first runs of the contest, however, Rutgers starter Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) worked out of the jam and got an inning-ending double play to get out of the frame unscathed.
The Scarlet Knights opened it up in the fourth, exploding for four runs in the frame thanks to a pair of two-run home runs from Boykin and Lang to give Rutgers a 6-0 advantage.
The Monarchs capitalized on a pair of Scarlet Knight miscues with a pair of scores on an infield error and a wild pitch in the sixth inning to cut the RU lead to 6-2 as senior Sean Campbell (Trenton, N.J.) replaced Beard in the frame.
Sophomore Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) led off the eighth with a single and came around to score on a Lang single back up the middle later in the frame to give Rutgers a 7-2 edge late.
ODU made one final push in the ninth, scoring a run and loading the bases with two outs in the frame. The Scarlet Knights went to their bullpen on two separate occasions in the inning and after Old Dominion brought the tying run to the plate, sophomore reliever Jerry Elsing (Montville, N.J.) finally shut the door on the Monarchs, punctuating the victory with a game-ending strikeout.
Junior Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) scattered seven hits over 5.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts and just one earned run allowed to earn the win for the Scarlet Knights and improve to 2-0 on the season. Campbell, freshman Joe Esposito (Metuchen, N.J.) and sophomore Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) combined for three innings of middle relief with Elsing coming in to seal the win with his second save of the year in the ninth. Old Dominion’s Louis Singleton (0-2) suffered the loss with six runs allowed on 12 hits in 3.2 innings of work for the Monarchs.
The Scarlet Knights will return to action tomorrow afternoon against the Monarchs with another 3 p.m. contest at Bud Metheny Complex in Norfolk, Va.