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"Knight Writers"

Rutgers Gets Second Straight Win at Home with 13-8 Decision

By Adam Nardelli

Piscataway, NJ —

Rutgers hosted the Iona Gaels on Wednesday, with both teams coming into the matchup under .500. The 4-6 Scarlet Knights entered the game off a 5-2 win over Old Dominion on Sunday.

The 1st inning was relatively quiet, with Rutgers starting pitcher Dante Scafidi getting three outs on three batters. Iona’s Fran Kinsey and Sean Breen both grounded out, with Vinny DeMaria hitting a pop fly to Centerfield where Jawaun Harris made a nice running catch.

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The bottom of the 1st was much of the same. Starting Iona pitcher Andrew Pucillo allowed a single to RJ Devish and a walk to Chris Suseck, but quickly got three outs and maneuvered his way out of the small jam.

Scafidi’s 2nd inning didn’t start out quite as smooth, with Iona’s Travis Mistretta and Lou Matarazzi each singling to left field. Scafidi then threw Mistretta out at third after Carmine Palummo hit a grounder directly at the mound for the first out of the inning. A pop fly by Matt Flannery gave Scafidi his second out of the 2nd, followed by the Gaels’ Clay Felice hitting a small blooper to 3rd base where Carmen Sclafini made a tough throw to 1st basemen Chris Suseck to end the inning.

Gaby Rosa got things started off on a high note for the Scarlet Knights in the bottom of the 2nd with a double to the gap in right-center. Luke Bowerbank hit Rosa home with a single to right field to put Rutgers on the board 1-0.

That would be all the scoring Rutgers would do in the bottom of the 2nd, bringing Scafidi in for another inning of work in the top of the 3rd.

Fran Kinsey hit a grounder to 1st basemen Chris Suseck, and instead of getting the easy out at 1st, Suseck gunned out Iona’s Joe DeMaio at 3rd. DeMaio had walked in the beginning of the inning and made it to second on a steal.

While Suseck was making plays in the field, Scafidi’s command was clearly a bit off after he walked both Vinny DeMaria and Sean Breen. With the bases loaded as a result of the two walks and Kinsey reaching 1s safely on the grounder, Chris Suseck and the rest of the Rutgers defense came to Scafidi’s assistance.

Iona’s Travis Mistretta hit a grounder to Suseck, who threw out Frank Kinsey at home. Catcher RJ Devish then immediately threw to third, where 3rd basemen Carmen Sclafini tagged Vinny DeMaria for the double play to end the inning.

Suseck led off the bottom of the 3rd, and he quickly put the Scarlet Knights in a good positon. Suseck hit a deep fly ball that fell into the gap in left-center field, which allowed him to reach third on a triple. Andrew Pucillo’s troubles at the mound continued with a walk to Tom Marcinczyk and a double to Nick Matera. Matera brought both Suseck and Marcinczyk home to increase the lead to 3-0.

Carmen Sclafani didn’t let up when he hit a double to left field bringing Matera home to put the lead at 4-0.

With the Gaels in a 4-run hole, the Iona coaching staff pulled Andrew Pucillo and brought in relief pitcher Joe DeRosa. DeRosa allowed one more run to come in for the Scarlet Knights, giving the Scarlet Knights a 5-run advantage going into the 4th.

Although Dante Scafidi had pitched three scoreless innings, his day was over by the top of the 4th.  Freshman Serafino Brito pitched in relief, and made it out of the inning without much trouble, keeping the score at 5-0.

DeRosa also pitched through the bottom of the 4th problem-less, moving past the halfway point of the ball game.

The top of the 5th began a bit rocky for Brito. After a couple Gaels were able to get on base, Travis Mistretta hit a single up the middle to center field, which brought Fran Kinsey home.

The scoring didn’t stop for the Gaels when Junior Lou Matarazzo hit a high fly ball that sailed over the left field fences for a three run home run. All of a sudden Iona had cut the lead to just one at 5-4.

In the bottom of the 5th Luke Bowerbank hit an RBI single to shallow right field, carrying John Jennings across home plate to augment the Scarlet Knghts’ lead to two runs at 6-4.

The inning ended oddly with an out at home. Jawaun Harris tried to steal home on a wild Joe DeRosa pitch, but was tagged out at the plate, preserving the score at 6-4.

The top of the 6th saw another pitching change for Rutgers, with Redshirt Junior Kevin Baxter taking the mound. Things didn’t start off as planned for Baxter, giving up an RBI single cutting the lead to 6-5. Later in the inning, an ill-advised throw by Sclafini from third to first allowed another run to cross home plate, tying the game up at 6.

Joe DeRosa’s wild pitch in the 5th luckily ended up as an out for the Gaels, but it was a different story in the bottom of the 6th. Jawaun Harris was able to score on the misguided throw, providing the Scarlet Knights with a valuable run as the sun started to set on Bainton Field.

Moving to the bottom of the 7th, the Scarlet Knights were able to put some men on base against relief pitch Kyle Ackley. John Jennings scored from third on a small Luke Bowerbank grounder. Clay Felice threw to catcher Carmine Palummo from third, but Palumno couldn’t hang on to the ball and Jennings slide into home plate to make the score 8-6.

The bottom of the 7th continued to be profitable for the Knights. Freshman Jawaun Harris hit his first career home run (two-run home run) and Tom Marcinczyk hit an RBI single. Once a close game, Rutgers was now enjoying a comfortable 11-6 advantage.

More scoring in the 7th came when John Jennings was hit by a pitch with the bases load, getting Rutgers to their 12th run of the day and doubling up the Gaels. Iona then walked Milo Freeman bringing yet another Scarlet Knight home for the 13th run.

Iona put two runs on the board in the top of the 8th,, but it was too little too late for the Iona Gaels. The Scarlet Knights came away with the victory by a score of 13-8, improving to a record of 5-6 in this young season.

Relief pitcher Kevin Baxter applauded an overall quality effort by his team. “I think we did pretty well on defense today.   We took care of the baseball. We made some pretty good plays throwing the ball across the diamond.   Chris Suseck made some great plays”. Baxter didn’t forget the offensive performance either, of course noting how much of a help the 13 runs were in getting the win.

Up next for the Scarlet Knights is their spring break tour that begins at Florida Atlantic on Friday. Rutgers’ next home game is March 29th vs Monmouth at 3pm. Make sure to tune in to WRSU 88.7-FM for the call.

Rutgers Wins Home Opener 11-3

By Adam Nardelli

Piscataway, NJ–

The Scarlet Knights experienced nothing but success in their home opener at Bainton Field on Wednesday against Lafayette. Although Rutgers was 2-4 entering the game, they were coming off of a series win at George Mason over the weekend.

The bottom of the 1st saw plenty of action for the Scarlet Knights. Tom Marcinczyk got things started quickly off Lafayette starting pitcher Trevor Houck with a deep fly ball to the warning track. The ball sailed over left fielder Andrew Landolfi, bringing home RJ Devish who was already on second base, putting Rutgers up 1-0.

Sophomore Milo Freeman helped keep the scoring going for Rutgers. Freeman hit a bloop fly that dropped into center field, allowing Redshirt Senior Chris Suseck and Marcinczyk to score. In a blink of an eye it was 3-0 Rutgers.

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The score remained the same through the 2nd and 3rd innings, with the Scarlet Knights offense failing to duplicate their 1st inning scoring show.

While Rutgers’ offense had troubles in the 2nd and 3rd innings, the same can be said for Lafayette. Rutgers starting pitcher Serafino Brito was dazzling to watch, not allowing a hit and compiling three strikeouts. His only hiccups were a hit batter in the 2nd inning and a 3rd inning error of his own. Brito attempted to tag Lafayette’s Andrew Landolfi on the 1st baseline, but failed to do so, allowing him to reach base safely. Aside from that, Brito worked through the Lafayette lineup with ease.

The top of the 4th inning was slightly a different story for Brito, allowing two singles to the Lafayette Leopards. Still, Brito forced a pop fly to left field with two outs, stranding Lafayette’s Andrew Landolfi and Campell Lipe, which helped continue Brito’s shutout through four innings.

The bottom of the 4th started similarly to how the 1st inning started for the Scarlet Knights. Freshman Jawuan Harris hit a double to center field followed by an RJ Devish walk, and 1st Basemen Chris Suseck took advantage of the two runners on base. Suseck hit a bomb to left field, which sailed over the fences for a three run home run.

“I was pretty aggressive early in the count. The last few weekends I’ve been kind of passive, kind of getting behind in the count. Today I was up with runners on base and I knew they were going to come at me so I was just aggressive”, Suseck said after the game.

Houck’s troubles continued in the 4th inning after left fielder Andrew Landolfi couldn’t hang on to a fly ball hit by Mike Martinez. Martinez and John Jennings, who was on second base at the time, both came into score, putting the Scarlet Knights up 8-0.

After Rutgers was able to put together 5 runs, the Lafayette coaching staff had enough of Trevor Houck. Houck was replaced with relief pitcher David Giusti, who was able to get out of the miserable 4th inning with a pop fly.

As the game moved to the 5th inning and the temperatures dropped, Chris Suseck’s success at the plate continued. Suseck hit a sac fly to left field, which allowed Jawuan Harris to score from third. Just previously Harris was able to steal third base for the third time in the game, showing how much the freshman can be an asset as a baserunner.

Brito was still on the mound at the start of the 7th inning, but soon it was a clear this would be as far as he could go. He quickly allowed 3 hits and 1 run to Lafayette in the top of the 7th, forcing Rutgers Head Coach Joe Litterio to make a pitching change. Left hander Ryan Fleming came into the game with the bases loaded and a score of 9-2. Fleming allowed one run in, putting the score at 9-3, but by and large he was able to get out of the jam.

The bottom of the 7th was also profitable for the Rutgers offense, with Chris Suseck again proving to be a force at the plate. Suseck obtained his fifth RBI of the day on a single to left field, getting the Scarlet Knights to double digits.

An active bottom of the 8th inning for Rutgers saw Gaby Rosa and Nick Matera both get on base with a double and a single respectively. Jawuan Harris snagged the first RBI of his career with a single to left field later in the inning, increasing the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 11-3.

Ryan Fleming had a virtually unblemished three innings of relief work after coming in for Brito. He closed out the game with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.

Despite how well the Scarlet Knights played throughout the afternoon, Suseck felt there are ways they can improve, particularly with how the team approaches situations with runners on base.

“Early in the game we were kind of passive with it (being aggressive with runners on base), taking too many strikes, getting behind, getting ourselves out…but later in the game we were taking assertive action, hitting the ball”.

While the play of Chris Suseck was striking, the most encouraging aspect of Wednesday’s game was freshman starting pitcher Serafino Brito’s supremacy on the mound. He was dominant at times in the first start of his college career, giving up just two runs on five hits. It’s obvious Rutgers baseball fans have much to look forward to each time Brito takes the mound, both this season and for years to come.

Rutgers Dominates Michigan on Senior Day

By Jordan Farbowitz

Piscataway, NJ —

The Rutgers women’s basketball team honored their seniors before their game against Michigan on Sunday. It was the last time many of the players would take the court at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. And they left the court with a dominant performance.

Tyler Scaife led the Scarlet Knights with 23 points, and Kahleah Copper recorded a double-double, as Rutgers beat Michigan 72-50 in the final regular season game before the Big Ten Tournament.

The Scarlet Knights played well on defense, and recorded 25 defensive rebounds. “We took pride in our defense,” said Copper. “Our defense turned into offense with transition points. It was really the defense that got us going.”

After finishing the first quarter only up by three points, the Scarlet Knights started to really get going in the second quarter. At halftime, they had increased their lead to eleven, and after the third quarter it was twelve. Except for a brief Michigan run early in the third quarter, Rutgers seemed to have the momentum for most of the game, which led to their impressive victory. In fact, Michigan’s largest lead was only by one point, in some brief moments in the first quarter.

After the game, coach C. Vivian Stringer spoke about what it means for her seniors to be leaving.

“They have been the backbone of this program for the past four years,” she said. As a mom, you have your children and want them to always be home, but you know that they have to spread their wings and go to the next stage of life. I would love to have them home all the time. It’s better in the pros because you don’t have to leave. But they have to go on, and I wish them well.”

The Scarlet Knights’ next game will be in the Big Ten Tournament, where they hope to make a run, and hopefully, make the NCAA Tournament. Rutgers will have a bye in the first round and be the #10 seed in the tournament. They will face the #7 seed Nebraska.

WRSU will have all your coverage for the Big Ten Tournament set to begin this Wednesday with Rutgers playing at 7PM on Thursday.

#6 Maryland Topples Rutgers in Play4Kay Game

By Jordan Farbowitz

The Rutgers women’s basketball team lost to No. 6 Maryland on Sunday, 73-58. Kahleah Copper led the Scarlet Knights with 23 points and Tyler Scaife added 11, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Terrapins. Maryland was paced by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s 22 points and Brionna Jones’ 14 points. Despite only trailing by one after the first quarter, Rutgers was outscored 20-8 in the second to go into halftime trailing by 13.

The Knights never trailed by less than ten points after halftime. With the win, Maryland improved to 24-3 and 13-2 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers fell to 16-12 and 7-9 in the Big Ten, as their hopes to play in the NCAA Tournament got even slimmer.

In its annual Play4Kay/PINKOUT game, both Rutgers and Maryland wore Pink in support of the fight against women’s cancers. Fans in attendance also sported the bright pink to make for a great atmosphere.

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Rutgers has historically struggled with top ten teams, as this was their 40th loss in 41 games to teams ranked in the top ten by the Associated Press.

One of the lone bright spots for the Scarlet Knights was Rachel Hollivay recording her 100th block, the most in Big Ten History.

Next for Rutgers Women’s Basketball is a matchup with Purdue out in West Lafayette, Indiana in a fierce battle for B1G Tournament seeding this Thursday, February 25th. WRSU will have all of your coverage beginning at 6:10 PM.

Rutgers Falls to #25 Michigan St. 70-67

Piscataway, NJ—-

By Victoria Pojawis

The Scarlet Knight’s women’s basketball suffered what was more than a disappointing hosting number 25th in the country Michigan State (19-7) at the RAC on Thursday night.

They lost 70-67, continuing the Lady Knights (16-11) struggles continue on the road and at home) after a dropping a game to a team they had a solid lead over all the way into the 4th quarter.

After coming out with a strong first half, things started to crumble as Rutgers lost its momentum. Sloppy plays happened on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively for both teams.

Fortunately for Michigan they were able to come out of top after playing badly the majority of the game.

Rutgers led at half time and also jumped to a 43-29 lead with less than six minutes to go in the third quarter. The combined total of both teams’ fouls was 44. Head coach C. Vivian Stringer was understandably frustrated with her team’s heartbreaking loss in the final minutes.

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“We didn’t demonstrate composure, they did and we didn’t focus and we had some miscommunication…..in the fourth quarter we couldn’t seem to find them, and it was ridiculous.”

Michigan sophomore guard Lexi Gussert was a perfect a perfect 3-3 from the field and scored eight points in just 10 minutes.

Junior guard Tyler Scaife contributed 22 points, but her contribution wasn’t enough for the team to maintain control and come out on top.

Rutgers will have to out this game behind them and get ready to play number –Maryland on Sunday at 3pm.

Rutgers Falls to Illinois in Triple Overtime Thriller

By RJ Hampson

February 3, 2016

-Piscataway New Jersey

An outstanding performance from freshman Corey Sanders was not enough to lead the Scarlet Knights to victory. Sanders got the first double double of his career and broke the Rutgers freshman scoring record in the process. He scored 39 points and had 12 assists in the game.

However, at the end of the third overtime the Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 110-103. The Scarlet Knights led the Illini for most of the first half and took a 40-37 lead into halftime. The Scarlet Knights managed to lead the Illini for a majority of the second half as well.

The game went into overtime at a score of 75-75. The Illini seemed to be cruising to victory before Corey Sanders grabbed a rebound on his missed three pointer and then hit one as the clock expired.

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The second overtime ended with the teams tied at 93-93 and was a tight defensive matchup. Illinois grabbed its largest lead of the game in the third overtime and won 110-101.

The second leading scorer for the Scarlet Knights was Jonathan Laurent. He scored a career high 23 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Senior guard Omari Grier scored 18 points and knocked down three shots from beyond the three point arc. Senior center Greg Lewis grabbed 16 rebounds and had three blocks.

The Scarlet Knights’ record has now fallen to 6-17. They are still seeking their first Big 10 win of the season. They have also lost 25 straight games against Big 10 opponents. The Knights’ conference record now drops to 0-10 on the season.

On the opposing side, the Fighting Illini were led by junior guard Malcolm Hill. He achieved a double double of his own by scoring 32 points and snagging 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 26 points and hit six three pointers.

The Fighting Illini improved their record to 11-12 with the win. Their Big 10 record now stands at 3-7. Their next game is this Sunday against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

In the postgame conference Rutgers’s head coach Eddie Jordan had only positive things to say about the Scarlet Knights. “We played pretty well and I’m proud of them”. “We saw everyone have mental toughness”.

Jordan on Corey Sanders: “He was magnificent, he was alert”. “When you put the ball in your best player’s hands he makes plays”.

The Scarlet Knights will travel to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers on Saturday. Tune in to 88.7 WRSU at 2:00 pm for the call!

Rutgers Falls to #7 Ohio State at the RAC

By Victoria Pojawis

PISCATAWAY—- Despite the winter storm that dumped over two feet of snow across the region, the Ohio State Buckeyes still managed to make it to New Jersey for a Sunday afternoon match up at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

It was Rutgers women’s basketball’s first time hosting Ohio State at home since entering the Big Ten conference. The Scarlet Knights fell to the Buckeyes two weeks ago in Columbus 90-78.

Ohio State came into the RAC Sunday hoping to continue their two game winning streak fresh off a win over Michigan Thursday, and they were able to do just that with a 67-58 victory.

The game was even on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively for the majority of the first half. Unfortunately for Rutgers, they were unable to carry that momentum over into the second half.

The Knights entered the third quarter tied 30-30 but quickly fell behind as they couldn’t make crucial shots, had too many turnovers and struggled on defense. They trailed the Buckeyes by seventeen points entering the fourth quarter, and were never able to make a comeback.

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Ohio States forward Chelsea Mitchell contributed 22 points, while guard Ameryst Alston and forward Alexa Hart combined for 30 points. Hart also racked up eight rebounds and Alston had five assists.

Rutgers had an impressive effort with four players scoring double digits, but unfortunately it was not enough to win. Kahleah Copper scored the most with 18 and 13 rebounds. Parker scored 13, and both Scaife and Canty contributed 11 points.

Rutgers has a 12-8 overall record this season, but falls to 3-5 against teams in the Big Ten. After losing to Ohio State, their record against conference opponents at home is now 3-1.

Next up for the Scarlet Knights is a Wednesday night game in Indiana against the 12-8 Hoosiers. Tune into WRSU 88.7 FM for game coverage!

 

Purdue Hands Rutgers Worst Home Loss in History

-By Raj Shah

In a game where the Scarlet Knights never got going turned into the worst Rutgers loss ever at home on Monday night. The Purdue Boilmakers entered as 20 point favorites and lived far beyond their expectations. Thumping the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 107-57 by the time the dust had settled.

The Scarlet Knights got off to a rocky start at the RAC. Five minutes into Purdue’s lead had already ballooned to fifteen points. As the first half unfolded the Scarlet Knights got handled in almost every statistical way possible. At half time Purdue led by a score 59-26, and had more blocks, turnovers, and steals than Rutgers. In the end the Purdue Boilmakers had outrebounded the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 63-23.

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The only bright spot for the Scarlet Knights seemed to be Corey Sanders. The freshman out of West Oaks Academy contributed nearly half of all the points the Scarlet Knights were able to put up. By the time the game had ended Sanders had put up 23 points but received very little help from his teammates.

The Purdue Boilmakers on the other hand were led by center A.J. Hammons, Dakota Mathias, and Vince Edwards in a rout of the Scarlet Knights. The Boilmakers bench also did not fail to impress by outscoring the Scarlet Knights 57-6. In the end, Eddie Jordan had words of inspiration for the Rutgers Men’s Basketball team.

“This is not gloom and doom right now,” Jordan said. “Anybody can paint it the way you want to paint it, but we have a job to do. We stay together, we keep our spirits up, the coaches are good enough to keep our spirits up in practice and we move forward.”

The Scarlet Knights will next take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Don’t forget to tune into 88.7 WRSU Sports Radio Station at 6:40 pm for live play by play!

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