AMBLER, Pa. – Junior Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.) hit a two-run single to center field to break an 8-8 tie in the 10th and lead the Rutgers baseball team to an 11-8 victory over Temple Tuesday afternoon at Skip Wilson Field.
RU, which made its first visit to Temple since the 1995 season, evened its record to 5-5 overall with its fourth straight victory. Temple fell to 2-7 with the loss.
Rutgers plated runs in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead on the Owls. The leadoff duo of Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) and Pat Biserta (Point Pleasant, N.J.) produced quick offense for the Scarlet Knights for the fourth-straight game. Lang drew a leadoff walk and Biserta drove him home with a triple to the gap in right-center field. RU added to its lead in the opening frame two plays later when Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) plated Biserta with a single to center field.
Three straight one-out hits pushed across a pair of runs in the second when Lang followed a Vinnie Sangemino (Nutley, N.J.) single and a Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) double with a two-run double to the gap in right-center field to extend RU’s lead to 4-0.
The Scarlet Knights loaded the bases without recording an out one inning later and got a pair of runs home on a groundout and fly out. Lang then followed with his second RBI double in as many innings to bring a third run home in the frame as RU built a 7-0 advantage.
A pair of errors proved costly in the third as starter Kyle Bradley (Howell, N.J.), who cruised through the first two innings without surrendering a hit, ran into trouble in the frame. The Owls put runners on second and third with one out courtesy of a fielding error, hit batsman and a wild pitch and Carmen Del Mastro drove in Temple’s first two runs on a single to center field. He capitalized on RU’s second error of the frame to move all the way over to third on the play. Temple added two more runs on the next two plays thanks to a groundout and single to end Bradley’s day. Freshman Steven Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) came in to record the last out of the inning.
Senior Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, N.J.) led off the fifth with a single, stole second and moved to third on an error. He came around to score two plays later on a Boykin sacrifice fly to right field to make it 8-4.
The Owls climbed back into it with a two-out, three-run rally in the fifth thanks to a Jamie Abercrombie two-run double to center field and a Mark Ortega RBI single to right field.
Temple then tied it up one inning later when Sean Barksdale homered to left field off newly-inserted Scarlet Knight hurler Billy Murphy (Cranford, N.J). The Owls threatened to take the lead in the bottom of ninth with a runner on third but reliever Kevin Lillis (Fair Haven, N.J.) induced an inning-ending fly out to force extra innings.
Rutgers wasted little time in extra innings when Lang drew a leadoff walk and Hernandez followed a Matthews intentional walk with a two-run single to center field to put the Scarlet Knights up for good. Feliz added an insurance run with an RBI double to the gap in right center field to build an 11-8 lead.
Closer Ryan Beard (Point Pleasant, N.J.) then shut the door on the Owls in the bottom of the 10th with his third save in four games.
Lillis picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief, while Temple’s Jordan Cannon was tagged with the loss with three earned runs on three hits and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings
Rutgers will return to Piscataway where it will host the New Jersey Institute of Technology Wednesday at Bainton Field at 3:00 p.m. in the 2009 home opener.