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Chris Brito breaks home run record as Rutgers sweeps Penn State



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

History was made on Sunday at Bainton Field as Rutgers swept Penn State (24-18; 6-11)with an 8-2 victory. The moment came in the fifth inning when Chris Brito set the program record with his 43rd career home run, passing program great Todd Frazier. The former Big East MVP and MLB All-Star Home Run Derby champion held the mark for 16 years. It was Brito’s second home run of the series.

It was great moment for a team peaking at the right time. Rutgers dominated the series against Penn State in winning all three games by a combined score of 26-3. The Scarlet Knights knocked the PSU starter out of the game in the first inning on both Saturday and Sunday.

Brito led RU with 6 RBIs on the weekend and tied the home run record on Friday with a Grand Slam. Ryan Lasko also had a good series at the plate with three straight must-hit games and 4 RBI.

Rutgers had several strong pitching performances over the weekend as well. True freshman Christian Coppola (4-4) pitched seven innings in Friday’s win. He allowed just one earned run on four hits and struck out 13 batters. Drew Conover (5-3) tossed seven scoreless innings on Saturday. He allowed just two hits and struck out nine Nittany Lions. On Sunday, Sam Portnoy pitched two scoreless inning of relief to improve to 3-0 on the season. Closer Ben Gorski threw four scoreless innings to earn his sixth save of 2023.

The Scarlet Knights have now won five games in a row and 15 of its last 18 overall. Rutgers is now 30-18 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten play. They jumped up all the way to third place in the league and trail first place Maryland by just two games with six to play. The conference is tight as RU is only one game ahead of a four way tie for fifth place.

Next up is a final home series of the season against Illinois (22-22; 11-10) on May 12-14. Friday and Saturday are night games with first pitch at 6 p.m. Sunday’s finale will take place at noon on Sunday will be played at ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakewood.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. FlaRef

    May 8, 2023 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for the report and videos. Best of luck to Brito and hope he has a chance to follow Todd to the bigs and continue his career after this all-star season! Well done Sir!

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