MIAMI, Fla. – Miami’s Jason Hagerty drove in six runs on a pair of home runs to lead the No. 12 Hurricanes to an 18-9 victory over the Rutgers baseball team in the series finale Sunday afternoon in front of 1,576 fans at Alex Rodriguez Park. The Hurricanes (3-1) took three games in the four-game series against the Scarlet Knights (1-3), while RU earned a 5-4 victory in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
For the third time in the four-game series, the Scarlet Knights jumped out to the early lead. Junior Jarred Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) became the first Scarlet Knight to reach base when he was struck by a pitch from Miami hurler Iden Nazario. A four-pitch walk to Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) put Jimenez on second and Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.) drilled a ball back up the middle to bring home the Scarlet Knight for the first run of the contest.
The Hurricanes stormed right back on one pitch when Scott Lawson took starter Kyle Bradley’s (Howell, N.J.) seventh offering of the game over the right-field fence to give UM a 2-1 lead.
Miami used a pair of hits to push across a run in the third frame and added two more runs in the fourth, while chasing Bradley out of the game. Freshman lefty Steven Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) made his collegiate debut on the mound (he made plate appearances in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader), coming on in relief of Bradley in the fourth inning.
The Hurricanes blew the game open in the fifth and sixth with five runs in each frame, highlighted by a grand slam in the fifth and a two-run home run in the sixth, both off the bat of Hagerty, to give them 15 runs through six innings.
Consecutive singles from sophomore Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.), Jimenez, and Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) led to a pair of Scarlet Knight runs in the sixth. RU added three more runs in the seventh, highlighted by a Lang two-run home run. The Scarlet Knights weren’t finished yet, pushing across a run in the eighth when Tim Reilly (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) singled to left field and freshman Ryan Kapp (Toms River, N.J.) tripled in his second career at-bat to bring home Reilly two plays later to make it 15-7.
A three-run bottom of the eighth for Miami was followed by a two-run ninth for Rutgers thanks to three Hurricane errors in the frame.
Bradley (0-1) suffered the loss for Rutgers with three earned runs (five total) on six hits and a strikeout in 3.1 innings, while Nazario (1-0) picked up the win for Miami with three runs on four hits and eight strikeouts in six innings.
Four Scarlet Knights – Dan Perrine (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Nick Gaeta (Montville, N.J.), Greg Bayard (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and Kapp – made their collegiate debuts in Sunday’s contest.
Rutgers returns home only to head back down south next weekend for a three-game series with nationally-ranked Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. Feb. 27 – March 1.