PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers baseball team bid a fond farewell to its six-member senior class with a 5-3 victory over Georgetown in the 2009 season finale Saturday afternoon in front of 382 fans at Bainton Field.
Jr. SS Dan Betteridge avoids the tag at home plate. (Tom Ciszek/NJSportsPhoto) PHOTO GALLERY
Wargo fired five innings of scoreless ball, yielding just three hits before handing it over to fellow seniors Downey and McCue. Junior Kevin Lillis (Fair Haven, N.J.) pitched a scoreless eighth and the Scarlet Knights’ closer Beard sealed it in the ninth to move up the school’s record book.
Following two scoreless frames from the senior Wargo, Rutgers jumped on the board with six hits in a five-run third inning. The senior Reilly got it started with a double to right field to open the frame. Consecutive bunt singles from Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) and Dan Betteridge (Sewell, N.J.) and a throwing error on a steal attempt got Reilly home. Sophomore Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) plated the next two runs with double to the gap in left-center field. Junior Jarred Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) followed with a double of his own, lacing a ball down the left-field line to plate Matthews and RU capped the scoring on a sacrifice fly from Pat Biserta (Point Pleasant, N.J.) in the frame. The Scarlet Knights collected a sixth hit in the inning on a Feliz double to end Georgetown starter Will Harris’ day
Kelly Muir gave the Hoyas a pair of runs with a two-run home run in the eighth and Georgetown (17-34, 8-18 BIG EAST) added a third score in the frame to make it 5-3.
Beard continued his late-inning dominance, retiring the side in order in the ninth for his eighth save of the season. He moved into a tie for third place with Eric Brown (2000 and 2001) and Jim Kohl (1991) on the Rutgers single-season saves list. He ended his two-year Scarlet Knight career with 11 saves to move into a tie with Marty O’Brien (1986-89) for fifth on the school’s career saves chart.
Wargo picked up the win to end his senior campaign with a stellar 6-1 record. Harris was tagged with the loss for Georgetown after surrendering five runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings.
The game was highlighted defensively by a spectacular catch over the wall in right field by Lang to prevent a home run in the third inning.
The Scarlet Knights completed the season with 22 victories as veteran head coach Fred Hill will head into his 27th season with the Scarlet Knights 20 victories shy of the prestigious 1,000-win mark for his collegiate career. The Scarlet Knights will return nine starters, including the designated hitter and welcome back a veteran pitching staff next in 2010.