RU Advances to BE Tourney

BETHESDA, MD – The Rutgers offense exploded for 13 runs on 17 hits, including three home runs, and senior pitcher Jim Jansen (Hillsdale, NJ) shut down Georgetown to give the Scarlet Knights a 13-1 victory over the Hoyas Sunday afternoon at Shirley Povich Field and secure a berth in the BIG EAST Baseball Championship.

With the win, RU's sixth-straight, the Scarlet Knights (27-22-1, 13-11 BIG EAST) return to the postseason for the first time in three years, qualifying for the eight-team BIG EAST Championship in Clearwater, FL, in a little over a week. RU stands in a tie with West Virginia, who it swept earlier this season, for fifth place in the league standings after the weekend's results. The Scarlet Knights will look to improve on their position in the standings with a three-game series at Connecticut to close out the regular season this coming Thursday-Saturday.

The victory also gives Rutgers its fifth BIG EAST series win of the season, earning its second series sweep of the year. The scarlet Knights outscored the Hoyas (23-30, 9-15 BIG EAST) a combined 34-13 in three games.

For the second straight day, three Scarlet Knights homered against Georgetown as Todd Frazier (Toms River, NJ), Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) and Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, NJ) each registered multiple-run blasts on the afternoon. With abundant run support, Jansen (2-0) went to work, allowing one run on just three hits with five strikeouts in eight innings to earn the victory.

For the third-straight game, the Scarlet Knights' offense went to work immediately, plating a run in the first inning to take the early lead. This time, RU scored without the benefit of a hit, capitalizing on a pair of Georgetown errors. Leadoff man Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) reached base after his grounder was mishandled by the second baseman. He moved to second on a Frazier walk, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With runners at the corners, Rutgers attempted a double steal and, after the throw to second was too late to get Frazier, the second baseman overthrew the catcher as Grose stole home.

Grose scored another run in the third, reaching base on single, moving to third on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) that was misplayed, and scored on a Ryan Hill (Hillsdale, NJ) sacrifice fly to center field.

Hook drilled a ball off the wall in center field for a leadoff double in the third and Nick Stavrakis (Warren, NJ) and Tim Querns (Cherry Hill, NJ) followed with consecutive singles to bring him home as RU jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Scarlet Knights threatened for more in the frame, loading the bases without registering an out, but could not produce any more runs.

Rutgers took advantage of a Georgetown wild pitch to plate another run in the fifth, making it 4-0, but it was the Scarlet Knights' seventh inning that blew the game open.

RU scored eight runs in the frame, thanks to nine hits, including home runs by Frazier, Hook and Feliz. Frazier opened the scoring with a three-run home run to center field and Hook followed three batters later with a two-run blast to right-center field, ending Georgetown starter Darren Sizemore's day. The Scarlet Knights greeted new Hoya pitcher Dan Kennedy with three-straight hits, the first two scored another run, before Feliz's titanic shot that easily cleared the left-field fence, landing more than 400, brought home the final two runs of the inning.

Frazier's home run was his second in as many days and eighth of the season. Hook's blast was his 10th of the season, while Feliz's shot was his second of the year.

After Georgetown's Matt Bouchard put the Hoyas on the board with a solo home run in the bottom-half of the seventh, the Scarlet Knights tacked on a 13th run in the ninth on pinch hitter Vic Cegles' (Phoenix, AZ) RBI double down the left-field line.

All but one Rutgers starter recorded a hit for the second-straight game, with seven of the Scarlet Knights' starters finishing with multiple hits on the afternoon.

Sizemore (6-3) was saddled with the loss for Georgetown, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on 12 hits in 6.1 innings.

Rutgers returns home before heading back down Interstate 95 to face the University of Delaware on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. in Newark, DE.


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