PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 29, 2011) – Senior D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) drove in five runs and sophomore Tyler Gebler (Toms River, N.J.) pitched a complete-game gem as the Rutgers baseball team upended No. 18 Connecticut, 8-3, Friday afternoon at Bainton Field, snapping the Huskies’ 12-game winning streak.
Gebler tossed his third complete game of the season, scattering nine hits with five strikeouts. He gave up just two hits over the final three innings to earn the win and improve to 3-4 on the season. The sophomore held the BIG EAST’s leading hitter, George Springer, without a hit in the contest, snapping the Husky All-American’s 21-game hitting streak and 26-game on-base streak. Gebler also recorded complete-game victories over Michigan and Seton Hall and worked nine innings in a no-decision against Cincinnati this season.
Anderson singled home a pair of runs in the third and sixth innings and drove home a run on a groundout in the fourth to finish the day 2-for-4 with five RBI and one run scored.
Anderson and the Scarlet Knights handed the BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Matt Barnes, his first loss in nine starts and his first loss in league play. The Husky junior, who entered Friday’s contest with a 0.92 overall earned run average and just three combined runs surrendered in five starts in conference play, gave up a season-high five runs on six hits with three strikeouts in five innings against Rutgers on Friday. Barnes fell to 8-3 on the season with his first loss since Feb. 26.
Connecticut (29-13-1, 13-3 BIG EAST), which entered the weekend atop the BIG EAST standings, struck first with two runs on two hits in the second. The Huskies threatened for more in the inning with a man on and one out, but Gebler induced an inning-ending double play to prevent any further damage.
Rutgers (15-23, 7-9 BIG EAST) got things started offensively in the third. Junior Dan Perrine (Scotch Plains, N.J.) worked a full count into a walk to open the inning and senior Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) was struck by a pitch before the two were sacrificed over on a well-executed bunt from sophomore Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.). Anderson then took Matt Barnes’ 0-2 offering through the left side for a two-run single. Later in the inning, freshman Michael Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) lifted a ball to deep right field where the ball was corralled in foul territory, but deep enough to allow Anderson to score from third and give the Scarlet Knights the lead.
They never looked back, pushing across two more runs in the fourth and three in the eighth to surge out to an 8-2 lead.
In the fourth, Perrine singled and scored on a double to left field off the bat of Steve Zavala. Lang was hit by a pitch for the second time in as many at-bats and scored on an Anderson groundout.
With Barnes out of the game in the sixth, RU loaded the bases with one out and the Huskies went to their bullpen again for David Fischer. Anderson greeted the newly-inserted UConn reliever with a two-run single back up the middle for his fourth and fifth RBI of the afternoon. Lang later scored from third on a well-executed bunt from Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.) to extend the lead to six runs.
UConn’s Ryan Fuller hit a ground-rule double that bounced over the center-field fence in the ninth and came around to score later in the inning on a Tim Martin single to make it 8-3, but that was close as the Huskies would get as Gebler retired the next two batters to finish off his third complete-game win of the season.
Rutgers and Connecticut will continue the series with a 1 p.m. game Saturday as sophomore lefty Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) takes the mound for the Scarlet Knights against senior lefty Greg Nappo for the Huskies.