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Episode No. 79: Rutgers baseball season ends in disappointment



Photo credit Tom Gilbert/Rutgers Athletics

Episode No. 79 discusses the disappointing end to the Rutgers baseball season. The No. 5 seeded Scarlet Knights were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday in a 6-4 loss to No. 8 seeded Michigan State. RU lost to No. 4 seed Nebraska 9-7 on Wednesday.

Following last year’s breakthrough 44-15 campaign, expectations were very high for head coach Steve Owens’ club entering the 2023 season. It was a slow start to the spring with Rutgers starting just 15-15. However, the Scarlet Knights won 17 of 21 games to enter the final week of the regular season with momentum.

After losing two of three games at Minnesota, the season ended with back to back losses in the Big Ten Tournament.

The season ends for Rutgers with a 33-23 record. While it was a step back from last season, finishing in the top half of the Big Ten and making the league’s postseason tournament (only 8 qualify) after missing it many times previously is still a positive season.

For Rutgers to take the next step under Owens, elevating the pitching staff is a must. Rutgers had 16 walks and 5 hit batters in the two losses this week at the Big Ten Tournament. The staff’s ERA went from 4.22 last season to 4.60 this season. With First Team All-Big Ten starter Christian Coppola just having completed his freshman season, RU has a elite arm to build around.

The episode covers many key players who can return and the needs for building for the future. There is still plenty to be positive about with this program under Owens.

Thanks for listening and watching The Scarlet Faithful podcast once again.

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  1. pj43

    May 25, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    I had the misfortune to watch both Rutgers’ games on BTN. Talk about frustrating! Against NE, the combo of some questionable calls by the umpires and poor pitching was too much to overcome. Today, same story with pitching and the failure to hold a lead. It’s been that kind of year for RU sports, i.e. higher expectations for soccer, field hockey, wrestling, basketball, lax and baseball all ended up in disappointment. Yes, it’s promising that these programs are genuinely competitive. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, some programs aren’t yet ready for prime time. Let’s hope, as Aaron pointed, it just may be a one off, a one year step back to be followed by a renewed upward trajectory in all sports.

  2. FlaRef

    May 26, 2023 at 7:24 am

    Disappointing tailspin at the end of the regular season and tourney losses. Disappointing they could not hold leads in both tournament games. Seems like no questionable calls go to RU and self-inflicted errors of commission or omission plague the team in key situations. As Aaron points out, still a positive season for the team and better days are ahead for baseball.

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