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Baseball Wins Home Opener, 13-5
Scarlet Knights score seven runs in the third inning
  • Posted on March 11, 2014 7:10:18 PM
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  • Shortstop Pat Sweeney went 4-for-4 to lead a 15-hit attack for Rutgers.
    Will Schneekloth
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    Win-Shuttle (1-0) • Loss-Eisenberg (0-2) • Save-None • T-2:35 •  A-317


    PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 11, 2014) – Behind a seven-run rally in the third inning and strong starting pitching, Rutgers baseball cruised past Hofstra, 13-5, in its home opener Tuesday at Bainton Field. Senior Pat Sweeney (Sparta, N.J.) led the Scarlet Knights offensively with a 4-for-4 game, as the team racked up 15 hits.

    RU improved to 5-8 on the season and 7-1 in home openers since Bainton Field opened in 2007, while the Pride dropped to 5-7 overall.

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    Sophomore Reed Shuttle (Lansdale, Pa.) (1-0) earned his first career win on the mound, allowing just one earned run over five innings. The right-hander scattered four hits and one walk in the 62-pitch outing. Freshman Gaby Rosa (Perth Amboy, N.J.) also had a strong showing with three effective innings of relief.

    In addition to Sweeney’s career-high four hits, junior Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.), senior Lou Clemente (Union, N.J.) and junior Joe D’Annunzio (Scotch Plains, N.J.) all had multiple-hit games, while freshman Christian Campbell (Sayreville, N.J.) had three RBIs and junior Michael Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) had three runs. The bats have totaled at least 11 hits in each of the last five games and seven times in the last nine to raise the team batting average to .300.

    After no runs were scored the first five half innings, Rutgers exploded for its biggest rally so far this season in the third. Sweeney started it off with a double down the left field line and immediately scored on an RBI single up the middle by freshman Mike Carter (Bloomfield, N.J.). Carter next stole second with one out and came home on a double through the right side by senior Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.). Zarrillo, who had four hits last game, then kept up his hot hitting with an RBI hit of his own for the third run.

    The big inning continued with Zavala being hit by a pitch and freshman Tom Marcinczyk (Middlesex, N.J.) walking with two outs. After Hofstra called to the bullpen, Campbell delivered a clutch two-run single through the middle to plate Zavala and Zarrillo. That would not be all, as Marcinczyk came home on a passed ball and Sweeney picked up his second hit of frame to chase home Campbell. The rally featured six hits and 11 batters to the plate.

    Hofstra chipped back with single runs in the fourth and fifth, but RU responded with two of its own in the fifth. Zavala led off with a ringing double, one of five extra-base hits for Rutgers, and advanced to third on a single by Clemente. Marcinczyk next chopped a ball down the first base line that was unplayable, but the Pride errantly threw it away to allow advancement on the bases. Campbell lifted a sacrifice fly to bring in Clemente to make the game 9-2.

    Leaving no doubt, the Scarlet Knights rallied for three more in the sixth. Senior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) and O’Grady both walked to begin the frame, with Zarrillo picking up an infield hit to load the bases. Zavala next beat out a fielder’s choice grounder for an RBI to score Favatella. D’Annunzio then stepped up as a pinch hitter and crushed a 1-0 pitch to the gap in left-center to plate two on a triple.

    Sweeney struck for his fourth hit in the seventh, a triple to deep left field, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Favatella. The Pride scored three times in the last two innings, but it was not enough. Freshman Colin Bohnert (West Caldwell, N.J.) finished off the victory.

    Alec Eisenberg (0-2) was charged the loss for Hofstra, as RU improved to 8-6 all-time against the Pride.

    Rutgers will next start its annual spring break road trip with a three-game tournament at VCU starting Friday with a game against Buffalo. The weekend will also include games against Lafayette and VCU.

    Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding baseball, follow the program on Twitter @baseballRU and Tumblr.

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