Rutgers Baseball Advances in BE Tourney

Sophomores Frank Meade (Linden, NJ) and Todd Frazier (Toms River, NJ), and junior Dave Williams (Franklin, NJ) each homered for Rutgers to lead the sixth-seeded Scarlet Knights to a 13-7 victory over seventh-seeded Cincinnati in an elimination game at the BIG EAST Championship at Bright House Networks Field Wednesday morning.

Rutgers (28-27-1) moves on to play second-seeded Connecticut who fell to third-seeded Louisville, 12-10, tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.

Rutgers followed Cincinnati's (32-26) two-run second inning with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead. Meade broke Todd Frazier's older brother, Jeff Frazier's (2002-04) single-season home run record with his 14th blast of the season – a solo shot over the right-field fence – as the elder Frazier (now a member of the Detroit Tigers' Single A affiliate Lakeland Tigers) watched in the stands. Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, NJ) and Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) followed a Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ) double with a pair of RBI singles to score two more runs in the frame.

After Cincinnati tied it up with a run in the third, Williams, who has missed more than 40 games this season with a pair of freak prolonged injuries, followed a Ryan Hill (Hillsdale, NJ) leadoff single with a line drive home run over the left-field fence to plate RU's first two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Later in the inning, Meade drilled a double down the left-field line and Bionde singled him home to give Rutgers a 6-3 advantage.

The Scarlet Knights then blew the game open with a six-run fourth inning. Frazier followed a Grose bunt single with his sixth home run in the past 10 games and 11th of the season, clearing the center field fence by a good distance for the two-run shot. A Williams double down the left-field line chased Cincinnati ace Steve Blevins out of the game. New Cincy pitcher Evan Sanford issued walks to Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) and Meade to load the bases where Tim Querns (Cherry Hill, NJ) drove in a run with a single to right field. Bionde then greeted the Bearcats' third pitcher of the frame with a three-run double down the left-field line as RU built a 12-3 lead.

Bionde, who registered hits in his first three at-bats, reached on an infield error with the bases loaded in the fifth as RU tacked on another run to up its lead to 13-3.

Cincinnati scored a run in the seventh and three more in the ninth, but would get no closer as the Scarlet Knights extended their winning streak to three games over the Bearcats this season. The victory also snapped Rutgers' five-game losing streak.

After giving up three runs in the first three innings, Rutgers starter Sean Spicer (Pearl River, NY) settled down to work three-straight scoreless frames and strike out the side in the sixth. He worked into the ninth, handing the ball over to reliever Chris Lillis (Fair Haven, NJ), who capped the victory with a strikeout. Spicer, who improved to 7-4 on the year, gave up seven runs on 14 hits with four strikeouts in 8.1 innings of work.

RU handed Blevins (9-5) the loss for Cincinnati. He gave up nine runs on 12 hits in just 3.1 innings.

Eight of the nine Rutgers starters recorded hits on the afternoon, while Bionde and Williams led the Scarlet Knights with three hits in the game. Bionde, who finished 3-for-4 on the afternoon with four RBI and a run scored fell one RBI short of tying the BIG EAST Championship record for RBI in a single game.

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