Rutgers baseball mounts seven run comeback to beat NJIT
Three days after suffering a bitter sweep to UConn in which Rutgers lost three games by a combined 4 runs, they found themselves trailing NJIT 7-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning. The Scarlet Knights were able to regroup at the plate and the bullpen came through as RU delivered nine unanswered runs to win on Wednesday at Bainton Field.
The bats woke up as Evan Sleight hit a solo homer and Maximus Martin hit a two run homer to cut the NJIT lead to 7-3 at the end of five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chris Brito started off a five run inning with a solo bomb. After Sleight singled and Josh Kuroda-Grauer walked, Jordan Sweeney reached first base on a fielder’s choice. NJIT made a throwing error that Sleight scored on. Hugh Pickney executed a sacrifice bunt to move Kuroda-Grauer to third and Sweeney to second. It was the freshman Martin who delivered his third RBI of the game with a single before Ryan Lasko tied the game with a sacrifice fly. It was another freshman, Trevor Cohen, who hit a infield single scoring Martin to five RU a 8-7 lead. Cameron Love scored an insurance run in the eighth inning off a pickoff throw gone wrong.
The Rutgers bullpen held the Highlanders scoreless over the final six innings. Five different pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and allowed just 2 hits to allow RU to complete the comeback. Sam Portnoy earned his second win of the season with two perfect innings of work that included four strikeouts. Joe Mazza earned his second save of the season with 1 1/3 innings to close out the 9-7 victory.
Next up is the start of Big Ten play with Rutgers (13-11) hosting Michigan State (14-8) this weekend for a three game series. The Scarlet Knights will host the Spartans on Friday, March 31 at 3 p.m. followed by Saturday, April 1 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 2 at 1 p.m. All three games will be streamed on B1G+. Click on links for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s free for fans to attend and you can register for parking here.
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March 31, 2023 at 7:39 pm
The team seems to be able to score runs but the pitching needs to come around. Hopefully, that will happen as the weather warms up. The younger kids look promising from what I read. This weekend will be a good opportunity to start the conference schedule off on the right foot. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.