EASTON, Pa. – The Rutgers baseball team tied their season-high with 14 runs, thanks to a season-high four home runs in a 14-7 victory over Lafayette Wednesday afternoon at Kamine Stadium.
Senior Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, N.J.), junior Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) and sophomores Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) and Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) each went deep for the Scarlet Knights, who improved to 16-22 with the win. The Leopards fell to 19-20 with the loss.
The four home runs were a season-high for the Scarlet Knights, who last achieved the feat at Georgetown on April 11 of last season. The 14 runs tied a season-high, first established against Iona a week ago, while the 16 hits was one shy of the Scarlet Knights’ season 17 hits recorded at Old Dominion on March 7.
Matthews gave Rutgers an early lead with one swing of the bat in the first, lifting a ball over the right-field fence for a two-run home run.
Lafayette manufactured a run in the third to cut the Scarlet Knights’ lead in half at 2-1.
Rutgers used a two-out rally and capitalized on a balk to put runners on second and third in the fourth inning and sophomore D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) delivered a single to center field to plate Ryan Kapp (Toms River, N.J.) (double)and Feliz (walk) and build a 4-1 advantage.
The Leopards crept closer thanks to a three-run home run from Matt Hall in the bottom half of the fourth, but the Scarlet Knights extended their lead to 8-4 with a four-run fifth frame. Betteridge highlighted the inning with a three-run home run over the left-field fence and Matthews and Feliz executed a perfect hit-and-run play with the senior driving the sophomore home to cap the scoring in the inning.
Rutgers and Lafayette traded runs in the sixth with RU scoring on a solo home run from Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.).
RU added to its lead with three runs in the seventh thanks to three-straight extra base hits, including doubles from Matthews and Kapp and a two-run home run over the center-field fence from Feliz.
The Scarlet Knights tacked on two more runs on four hits in the eighth off Lafayette’s fifth pitcher of the contest to make it 14-6.
Lafayette’s Daniel Bierce hit solo home run in the eighth to make it 14-7.
Senior Tony Wargo (New Providence, N.J.) improved to 4-0 on the season with a pair of strikeouts and three earned runs (four total) allowed on four hits in five innings of work, while his counterpart, John Gentile of Lafayette was saddled with the loss after surrendering eight runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings.
RU’s 16-hit attack was led by Matthews and fellow sophomore Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.), who collected three hits apiece.
Rutgers continues a stretch of four games in the state of Pennsylvania when it travels to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take on Pitt in a three game series this weekend. The three-game set opens with a doubleheader Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Trees Field.