BRONX, N.Y. (April 9, 2013) – In a high-scoring affair Tuesday at Houlihan Park, Fordham ousted Rutgers baseball by the count of 15-14. The back-and-forth game took 3:44 and was played with temperatures in the 80s in the Bronx, N.Y.
Freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) led the Scarlet Knights by going 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs, while junior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) drew three walks to reach base four times. Sophomore Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) and senior Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) also had multiple hit games.
It was the third time this season RU totaled at least 14 runs in a game, scoring at least three times in four innings today. The offense also took advantage of 11 walks and four errors issued by the Rams to clutter the base paths.
Down 10-9 in the seventh inning, the Scarlet Knights rallied for four runs to take their first lead of the day. Senior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) walked to start it off and moved up to second when classmate Charlie Law (Mainland, N.J.) reached on an error. After freshman R.J. Devish (Beachwood, N.J.) advanced them on a sacrifice bunt, junior pinch hitter Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.) walked to load the bases for Tietz. The freshman stroked a ball to the base of the wall in left field to clear the bases and put Rutgers up 12-10. He then scored an insurance run right after on a wild pitch.
However, Fordham responded with a run on an RBI double by Charles Galiano to cut into the deficit. RU got that run back with Zarrillo coming home on a double play ball in the eighth to make it 14-11.
That lead did not prove to be safe as Fordham rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to re-take the lead. The tying run came across on a wild pitch and the go-ahead score plated on a balk with two outs.
In the ninth, junior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) led off with a single and classmate Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) walked after a sacrifice bunt, but Rich Anastasi buckled down to retire the side and earn his first save of the season.
Jonathan Reich (1-0) picked up the win after pitching 3.2 innings of relief for the hosts, who were coming off a 12-game road trip. The loss went to freshman Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.) (1-2), as RU used six pitchers. Eleven walks and six hit batters proved to be the shortcoming for the Rutgers staff on the day.
The game started off slow for RU, falling behind 6-0 after two innings. However, the offense rallied for three in the second and three in the fifth to tie it up and make it a new game.
Fordham immediately responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up 10-6. The damage could have been worse, but junior Charlie Lasky (Freehold, N.J.) stranded two runners on base to keep it within striking distance and allow another three-run rally from the bats.
Jennings reached on error to leadoff, with Tietz singling to put the pressure on in the sixth. The two then executed the double steal to put two in scoring position for O’Grady, who promptly knocked them both home with a single to right field. Zarrillo followed with a ringing triple to right, his fourth of the season to make it 10-9.
Aforementioned, Rutgers did take the lead but a wild pitch and balk in the bottom of the eight allowed Fordham to capture the win.
RU, sitting at 6-3 in the BIG EAST, will look to bounce back Friday at Bainton Field in the start of a three-game series against Cincinnati. The Scarlet Knights took all three from the Bearcats last season at Marge Scott Stadium.