PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 8, 2011) – Seniors shined on Senior Day as Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) completed a three-hit day with a double down the first-base line in the 14th inning and scored the game-winning run to lift Rutgers to a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame in Sunday’s series finale at Bainton Field.
In the bottom of the 14th inning, Boykin took the second pitch he saw from reliever Sean Fitzgerald down the first-base line for a one-out double to move into scoring position. Sophomore Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) followed, taking Fitzgerald’s 1-2 offering to left field as Boykin raced home from second. The senior slid past the tag at home for the game-winning score, igniting a celebration at home plate.
Notre Dame (18-24-1, 9-11 BIG EAST) had struck first in the contest thanks to a third-inning solo home run from Mick Doyle.
A five-hit fifth inning gave the Scarlet Knights (17-27, 8-13 BIG EAST) a pair of runs as RU surged ahead of the Irish. The senior trio of Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.), D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) and Boykin each collected a hit in the inning with Boykin and freshman Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) each driving home runs with two outs in the frame on singles to left field and center field, respectively.
Meanwhile, Rutgers starter Ryan Fasano (Stony Point, N.Y.) continued his strong outing. The home run allowed in the third was one of only two hits and one of only three base runners allowed by the Scarlet Knight in the first six innings.
Notre Dame’s Trey Mancini hit a ball deep into the hole on the left side in the seventh that was eventually corralled by the shortstop, but not before the Irish cleanup hitter stretched his infield hit into a double. He later came around to score on an Adam Norton single to tie the game up at 2-2.
The Irish moved the potential go-ahead run 90 feet from home plate with two outs in the eighth and RU went to its bullpen for the first time in the contest as Fasano handed the ball over to reliever Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.). Corsi induced an inning-ending groundout to end the threat.
Notre Dame loaded the bases with one out in the 12th, but Corsi worked out of the jam once again with a groundout to the shortstop that retired the lead runner at home and an inning-ending strikeout.
The Scarlet Knights put runners in scoring position in the sixth, ninth, 11th, 12th and 13th frames but could not push across the game-winning score. Boykin and Zavala combined to give RU the run it desired in the bottom of the 14th.
Corsi (4-3) picked up his fourth win of the season with a season-long 6.2 innings of scoreless relief with six strikeouts and just four hits allowed in the dominant performance on the mound. Fasano finished with three strikeouts and two runs allowed on six hits in his first conference start. Fitzgerald struck out five in 4.2 innings of relief with the one run allowed in the 14th in the loss for the Irish.
Lang, O’Grady and Boykin each collected three hits on the day to lead Rutgers’ 16-hit attack. Lang moved past Matt Wolski (1999-2003) and into seventh place on the Rutgers career hits chart with 218 for his career.
Rutgers returns to action next Friday at 3 p.m. as the Scarlet Knights travel to Pennsylvania to face Villanova in the first of three games with the Wildcats.