PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Sophomore Jon McCue (Sparta, N.J.) pitched a complete-game two-hitter as the Rutgers baseball team cruised to an 8-0 victory over Monmouth Wednesday afternoon at Bainton Field.
The Scarlet Knights extended their winning streak to six games and improved to 31-16 overall, wrapping up their nine-game homestand with seven victories. The Hawks fell to 27-18-1 on the year.
McCue retired the first 14 batters of the game before giving up an infield single to Kyle Messineo in the fifth inning. After a Scarlet Knight infield error to leadoff the sixth, McCue got the next batter to hit into a double play, which started five-straight outs for the sophomore hurler. Messineo got another hit off McCue in the eighth but the Scarlet Knight didn't allow a runner past first base all game. He struck out four in the contest and improved to 5-0 on the season.
While McCue was taking care of business on the mound, the Rutgers offense provided run support early, scoring all eight runs in the first four innings.
RU got its first run in the first inning when junior All-American Todd Frazier (Toms River, N.J.) led off the frame with a double and scored two plays later on a Ryan Hill (Hillsdale, N.J.) single back up the middle. The Scarlet Knights threatened for more in the frame with runners on second and third and one out but Monmouth starter Nick Vallillo got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts.
Rutgers added four runs in the third inning to build a 5-0 advantage. With Hill (hit by pitch) and Dave Williams (Franklin, N.J.) on, sophomore Tom Edwards (Caldwell, N.J.) hit an opposite field RBI single to score Hill for the first run of the frame. Junior Jon Gossard (Harrington Park, N.J.) then drove a ball back up the middle to plate Williams and Edwards. The hit also extended Gossard's hitting streak to 24 games. Gossard later came around to score the fourth run of the inning on a Tim Querns (Cherry Hill, N.J.) double to center field.
A Monmouth infield error proved costly for the Hawks in the fourth as the Scarlet Knights scored three unearned runs off Vallillo. An RBI single by Williams was followed by consecutive RBI doubles by Edwards and Gossard as RU to extended its lead to 8-0.
Vallillo gave up eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits with six strikeouts in the loss for Monmouth to drop to 0-1 on the season.
Frazier collected his 217th career hit in the contest to move into a tie with Matt Wolski (1999-2003) for sixth place on the school's all-time hits list. He also scored his 64th run of the season to tie Adam Neubart (1998) and current Rutgers Director of Baseball Operations Darren Fenster (1999) for third place in the school's single-season runs list.
Rutgers will travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday to open up a three-game series with the Panthers this weekend. RU and Pitt will open the series on Friday at 6:00 p.m., followed by a 3:00 p.m. game on Saturday and a noon game on Sunday.