PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Eight starters collected at least one hit, led by sophomore Pat Biserta’s (Point Pleasant, N.J.) four-hit effort, as the Rutgers baseball team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 10-2, Wednesday afternoon at Bainton Field.
The Scarlet Knights (19-28) recorded 15 hits, including three doubles and two triples in the contest, while all 12 of FDU’s (12-30) hits were singles. The 15 hits is tied for the fifth-most for RU in a game this season. Besides Biserta’s four-hit day, D.J. Anderson (Randolph, N.J.) collected three hits and Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, N.J.) and Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) each had a pair of hits to round out the Scarlet Knights with multiple-hit on the afternoon.
RU plated three runs in the second and never looked back en route to the victory. After issuing walks to the first three batters of the second inning to load the bases, FDU starter Ben Durgan was relieved by John Schmidt. Junior Tim Reilly (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) greeted the new hurler with a screaming grounder that found a hole through the left side for a two-run single and the Scarlet Knight scored later in the inning on a Biserta two-out single back up the middle to give RU the 3-0 early lead.
After working three scoreless innings, Rutgers starter Kyle Bradley (Howell, N.J.) ran into trouble in the second as four of FDU’s first five hitters of the fourth singled to bring home a pair of runs. He was relieved by Tony Wargo (New Providence, N.J.), who surrendered a single to his first batter to load the bases before inducing an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam.
Holding a 3-2 advantage, the Scarlet Knights blew it open in the fifth with a two-out rally as an Anderson double was followed by a pair of walks to load the bases and Lang tripled to the gap in right-center field to bring home three runs and build a four-run advantage.
RU tacked on four more runs on an Anderson RBI single down the left-field line in the sixth and a Biserta RBI double and Jarred Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) two-run triple in the seventh off a cast of FDU relievers.
Meanwhile, the Rutgers bullpen combined to throw 5.2 innings of scoreless relief, scattering just four hits in the span. Wargo hurled 3.2 innings, before Jason Downey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) tossed a scoreless eighth and Ryan Beard (Point Pleasant, N.J.) ended it in the ninth.
Wargo picked up the victory to improve to 5-1 with just three hits allowed and a strikeout in the 3.2 innings of relief, while Durgan (0-3) was saddled with the loss with two runs on three hits surrendered before exiting in the second inning.
Rutgers returns to action Saturday as the Scarlet Knights open a three-game series with Seton Hall with a doubleheader beginning at noon at Bainton Field in Piscataway.