PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 13, 2012) – The Rutgers baseball program released its 2013 schedule, 30th-year head coach Fred Hill announced Tuesday. The slate for its 144th season is highlighted by four squads that made the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.
The schedule features 54 games, including 34 on the road, 17 at home and three neutral site contests. The Scarlet Knights play four BIG EAST home series and four league road series.
Rutgers compiled a 31-25 record in 2012, including a 16-11 mark in conference play. Top returners include junior second baseman Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) (second on the team with a .333 average, 12 doubles and 42 RBIs), senior catcher Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) (third on the team with a .311 average) and senior pitcher Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) (second on the team with a 3.46 ERA in 2012 with a team-best eight wins).
For the fourth-straight season, the Scarlet Knights open with a three-game series at Miami (Feb. 15-17), which made the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The squad then heads to Norfolk, Va., to take on Old Dominion (Feb. 22-24) for the 16th-straight season. RU took all three games from the Monarchs in 2012.
The March schedule begins with 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Georgia Tech (March 1-3), followed by three opponents in Virginia. First, Rutgers takes on William & Mary (March 8-10) before heading to Richmond to take on the Spiders (March 15-17) and closing at Virginia Commonwealth University (March 19-20).
BIG EAST play opens with a three-game road series at Louisville (March 22-24), a three-seed in its region of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Scarlet Knights then take on Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent Rider (March 26) for a midweek game before finishing the month at conference-foe Villanova (March 28-30).
Rutgers gets onto Bainton Field for the first time with back-to-back midweek games against Columbia (April 2) and Iona (April 3). The team finishes its home stand with a weekend series against league opponent Seton Hall (April 5-7).
Mixed in is a midweek matchup at Atlantic 10 Conference opponent Fordham (April 9) before returning home to host another BIG EAST series against Cincinnati (April 12-14). The Scarlet Knights travel to Easton, Pa., for an April 16 game at Lafayette and then return to New Jersey for a contest with Monmouth of the Northeast Conference in West Long Branch the following day. Rutgers plays a conference road series at Pittsburgh (April 19-21) before traveling to play A-10 competitor Delaware (April 23). The squad hosts Wagner at Bainton Field on April 24.
Near the end of April, the Scarlet Knights participate in the TD Ameritrade Classic. The squad will take on Oklahoma State (April 26), 2012 NCAA qualifier Creighton (April 27) and Nebraska (April 28) in Omaha, Neb. The tournament takes place at TD Ameritrade Park, host site of the College World Series. Rutgers returns to the East Coast to finish the month at Hofstra with a Tuesday game on April 30 in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Scarlet Knights then have a home stand, hosting Delaware (May 1), Connecticut (May 3-5) and Georgetown (May 11-12), with a double-header on the second day. They close out the regular season with a conference series at South Florida (May 16-18).
The BIG EAST Championship takes place at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., from May 22-26.
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BIG EAST: 24 (8 series)
BIG EAST Home: 12 (4 series)
BIG EAST Road: 12 (4 series)
Nonconference Home: 5
Nonconference Road: 22
Nonconference Neutral: 3
Against 2012 NCAA Tournament Teams: 10
Big 12: 1
Big Ten: 1
Ivy League: 1
Patriot League: 1