After the bats exploded in a 19-6 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, pitching was the story for Rutgers in the second game. Starter Jake Marshall and reliver Ben Gorski combined to throw the sixth no-hitter in program history. It was also the first nine inning no-hitter since Gary Malinoski in 1978. The 7-0 victory completed a three game sweep Georgia Southern. Rutgers improved its record to 7-7 on the season.
Marshall threw 100 pitches and struck out nine while walking seven in five shutout innings on Saturday night in Statesboro, Georgia. Gorski came in and threw four scoring inning of relief. He struck out seven batters and walked two over 60 pitches.
What a weekend for @RutgersBaseball, finish off their series sweep at Georgia Southern with a combined no-hitter between Jake Marshall (9 K in 5 IP) and Ben Gorski (7 K in 4 IP), dominant weekend all-around as part of a 4-0 week to move back to even (7-7 record) pic.twitter.com/daQx09pnNE
— Patrick Ebert (@PatrickEbert44) March 12, 2023
“Their stuff was good, there were a lot of strikeouts and then a lot of good defensive plays behind them,” head coach Steve Owens said. “Those pitchers hung out there and did a good job. They pitched out of a couple jams with a big double play in the first inning and then some strikeouts after that. I’m very pleased with their resiliency and how we passed the ball along all weekend.”.
Chris Brito hit his team leading third home run and drove in four runs in the victory. Andy Axelson caught all 18 innings on Saturday and finished the nightcap with two hits and an RBI.
Earlier on Saturday, Josh Kuroda-Grauer went 4 of 5 at the plate while driving in 4 RBIs and scoring 4 runs. Axelson was 3 of 5 from the plate with 5 RBI and two runs scored. Jordan Sweeney was 2 of 3 for two RBI and four runs scored. All three players hit a home run as well as Evan Sleight. Freshman Christian Coppola earned the first victory of his career. He threw 5 innings and allowed just four hits as well as one earned run while striking out five without a walk.
Rutgers won the first game 5-2 as Seton Hall transfer Drew Conover picked up his first win in a Scarlet Knight uniform. He threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out nine batters while allowing 2 runs on just 3 hits. Cameron Love drove in two runs in the win.
“It’s great to get clicking on all cylinders,” Owens said. “Good to start feeling good about some of the execution that’s happening on the field. It’s nice to see our players with a smile on their face. they played really well this weekend, so we’ll enjoy it and try to build on it.”
Rutgers is currently on a spring break trip. They’ll remain in Georgia and play Kennesaw State on Wednesday night. The Scarlet Knights continues its spring break trip to Georgia with a midweek contest at Kennesaw State on Wednesday night. RU wraps up the trip in Macon for a three-game series at Mercer.
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