STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Junior Kyle Bradley (Howell, N.J.) tossed six innings of one-run ball and sophomore Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) doubled twice to score a run and drive in another as the Rutgers baseball team downed Wagner, 5-1, Tuesday afternoon at Richmond County Ballpark in Staten Island, N.Y.
The Scarlet Knights improved to 12-13 overall on the season with the victory in their first of five-consecutive games against New York schools. RU will travel to Jamaica, N.Y. this weekend for a three-game series against St. John’s before concluding the stretch against Columbia at Bainton Field next Tuesday, April 7. Wagner fell to 9-8 with the loss.
Rutgers jumped on top early in the contest with a run in the first when Lang worked a walk out of a full count to lead off the game and No. 2 hitter Pat Biserta (Point Pleasant, N.J.) drove him home two pitches later with a double off the bottom of the wall in left field.
Wagner loaded the bases in the bottom half of the first without recording an out, but Bradley worked out of the jam, surrendering just one run on a double play before getting out of the frame on a fly out to center field.
With the scored tied at 1-1, the Seahawks put a man on third with two outs in the third, but Bradley induced a pop out to first base to end the threat.
A well-executed bunt down the third-base line from Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) put the leadoff man on for the Scarlet Knights in the fourth. Betteridge then stole second and moved all the way to third on a wild throw from the catcher, where Luis Feliz (New Brunswick. N.J.) drove him home on a line-drive single to center field to break the 1-1 tie.
Doubles from Jared Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) and Lang gave Rutgers a run in the fifth and the Scarlet Knights plated a second run in the frame on a sacrifice fly from Pat Biserta (Point Pleasant, N.J.) to extend the lead to 4-1.
Wagner put a runner on third with two outs in the fifth, but Bradley once again thwarted the scoring threat with an inning-ending strikeout.
The Scarlet Knights added to their lead with a score in the eighth on a two-out RBI double down the right-field line from Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) to make it 5-1.
Bradley scattered two hits over six innings with just the first-inning run allowed and posted four strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season. RU also got three innings of combined scoreless relief from Billy Murphy (Cranford, N.J.) and Kevin Lillis (Fair Haven, N.J.). Wagner’s A.J. Pirozzi (0-2) surrendered four runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts over five innings in the loss.
Rutgers received strong defensive play all game, highlighted by sophomore Joey Ianiero’s (Bloomsburg, Pa.) nice scoop on a well-hit ground ball at second to record the out base late in the contest.
Rutgers will continue its five-game stretch against teams from the state of New York when the Scarlet Knights travel to Jamaica, N.Y. for a three-game series with St. John’s, beginning Friday.