PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers baseball team used 13 hits, including three-hit efforts from Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, N.J.) and Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.), and a strong outing from starter Tony Wargo (New Providence, N.J.) to cruise past the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 11-1, Wednesday afternoon in the 2009 home opener at Bainton Field.
Tony Wargo (2-0) earned the win with five strikeouts and no earned runs allowed.
NJIT went up 1-0 on an RBI single from PJ Saporito in the first, but Rutgers responded with two runs in the in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Michael Lang (Dumont, N.J.) doubled to lead off the frame and came around to score later in the inning on an error before Hernandez drove Jaren Matthews (Teaneck, N.J.) (hit by pitch) home with a double to left field.
Meanwhile, Wargo settled in and pitched scoreless ball the next five innings before handing it over to the bullpen in the seventh.
NJIT replaced starter Steven Ace with Reid Okita to start the fifth and senior Vinnie Sangemino (Nutley, N.J.) greeted the new Highlander hurler with his first career home run, clearing the fence in left field to give RU a 3-1 lead.
Rutgers extended its lead to 6-1 with a three-run sixth inning. A Matthews walk was followed by a well-executed bunt from Hernandez and the third baseman’s throw to first was wild, allowing Matthews to come all the way around and score on the play to open the bottom half of the inning. Feliz matched Hernandez’s bunting effort, reaching base safely and moving the junior over to third where a Jarred Jimenez (Monroe, N.J.) sacrifice fly plated the Scarlet Knight one play later. Sophomore Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) pushed RU’s lead to five runs with an RBI single to left field later in the frame.
RU strung together three hits with two outs in the sixth, including an RBI double down the right-field line from Feliz and an RBI single to center field from freshman Ryan Kapp (Toms River, N.J.) to extend its lead to 8-1.
The Scarlet Knights capped their scoring with a three-run home run from redshirt freshman Russ Hopkins (Piscataway, N.J.) – the first of his career – in the eighth to make it 11-1.
Wargo (2-0) earned the win with five strikeouts and no earned runs allowed (one run total) on three hits in six innings, while relievers Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) and Sean Peterson (Wall, N.J.) combined to hold the Highlanders scoreless over the final three frames. Ace (0-2) was saddled with the loss for NJIT with two runs (one earned) on three hits and a strikeout in four innings.
Feliz (3-for-4 with a run and an RBI) recorded three hits for the second straight day as the Scarlet Knight finished 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI in yesterday’s contest against Temple. Hernandez (3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored) and Lang (2-for-4 with two runs scored) also collected multiple hits for the second-straight day for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers travels to Boca Raton, Fla. for its annual spring break trip to the Sunshine State this weekend. The Scarlet Knights will begin their first of nine games during the week-long trip Friday against Penn State at 1:00 p.m. on Florida Atlantic University’s campus.