Steve Owens earns 1,000th career win as Rutgers defeats Hofstra
Rutgers baseball defeated Hofstra 5-0 on Tuesday at home, but the win carried historical significance for head coach Steve Owens. It was the 1,000th victory of his college career. Owens is the 65th coach with Division I to achieve that milestone across the three divisions of NCAA. He is the ninth active Division I coach with 1,000 wins.
Owens first won 245 games at Division III Cortland over eight seasons. He then spent 11 seasons at Le Moyne in the MAAC, winning 342 games. Next was a very successful nine season run at Bryant where he amassed 327 wins. Owens has now won 86 games at Rutgers now in his fourth season. He joins Rutgers legend Fred Hill who won 1,089 games in his coaching career that included 941 wins on the banks.
In 32 seasons, Owens has produced 29 winning campaigns, 21 seasons with 30 wins, and six with 40 wins. That includes last season’s program record 44 wins for Rutgers. His teams have won 20 regular season titles, made 13 NCAA Tournaments and are 74-49 in the postseason. He’s also earned 21 different coach of the year honors throughout his career. Owens has also produced 25 NCAA All-Americans and 55 players have played professional baseball.
The beat goes on for Owens and Rutgers, who produced a shutout in the historic victory on Tuesday.
The pitching and defense was on point as five hurlers allowed just five total hits while RU produced four double plays. Justin Sinibaldi tossed five shutout innings and forced Hofstra into eight ground outs. Four other pitchers threw a scoreless inning including ace Drew Conover. He struck out the side in the seventh inning in a rare relief appearance this season after converting to a starter this season. Grant Besser actually started the game with a perfect inning, while Joe Mazza and Garrett French through an inning each to secure the shutout.
Evan Sleight, Chris Brito and Jordan Sweeney each had a pair of hits. Five different players drove in one run each including Sleight, Brito, Ryan Lasko, Trevor Cohen and Josh Kuroda-Grauer.
Rutgers (15-13;1-2) will next travel for a important Big Ten matchup against defending champion Maryland (17-10; 2-1). The Scarlet Knights salvaged the opening series in conference play with a win over Michigan State last Sunday. The three game series with the Terps will begin Friday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. and will stream on B1G+. Saturday’s contest will air live on the Big Ten Network at 2:00 p.m. Sunday’s game will air live on ESPNU at 1:00 p.m.
1,000 wins calls for a special postgame shower for Coach Owens!#TCD pic.twitter.com/QakvtZA5gg
— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) April 4, 2023
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April 5, 2023 at 5:14 pm
Congrats to Coach Owens – another great hire by Hobbs. It would be a good sign to win the series against MD this coming weekend. Hopefully, the shutout over Hofstra is a positive sign that the pitching staff is finding its groove.