BETHESDA, Md. (April 1, 2012) – Senior Ryan Fasano (Stony Point, N.Y.) pitched eight effective innings to help Rutgers University baseball salvage the series finale at Georgetown University, 9-4, Sunday at Shirley Povich Field. The Scarlet Knights scored eight unanswered runs in the latter innings to erase a 4-1 deficit to improve to 13-12 on the season and 3-3 in the BIG EAST.
The Hoyas, who won the first two games of the set, dropped to 13-15 and 2-4 in league action.
Sophomore Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) and junior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) each recorded three-hit games to ignite the offense, while sophomore Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) knocked in three runs and scored twice.
After the pitching staff surrendered 26 runs in the first two games of the series, Fasano provided Rutgers with a much-needed extensive outing. The right-hander scattered 10 hits, but did not walk a batter and struck out five. He allowed three earned runs over the course of his 119-pitch effort to jump to 2-3 this season, retiring the last four hitters he faced.
Trailing 4-1 after five innings, the Scarlet Knights were in jeopardy of being swept as Georgetown starter Neal Dennison was cruising along. However, sophomore Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) worked a walk, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error to start the comeback.
RU kept the pressure on one inning later, scoring three in the seventh inning to take the lead. Freshman Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) and Sweeney both singled to set the stage, with O’Grady doubling to bring home Zarrillo and put two runners in scoring position. Favatella next reached on an error, being credited an RBI to score Sweeney and tie the game. O’Grady came across one batter later to give the Scarlet Knights the lead when junior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) grounded into a double play.
Four important insurance runs were added in the eighth, highlighted by a two-run triple by O’Grady. Zavala picked up his third hit of the day with one out to start the proceedings and moved up to second after junior Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.) drew a walk. Zarrillo bumped Zavala over to third on a fly out, coming in a clutch two-out single by Sweeney. The centerfielder then capped the rally with a three-bagger to center, moving all the way to the plate on an error by the shortstop on the play.
Junior Jerry Elsing (Montville, N.J.) struck out the side in the ninth to seal the fifth come-from-behind win of the season for the Scarlet Knights.
Jack Vander Linder (2-1) took the loss in relief for the Hoyas.
Rutgers resumes action Tuesday at Bainton Field, taking on Princeton in a 3:30 p.m. contest to start a stretch of five games in five days.
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