PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 11, 2018) – Playing errorless in the field, Rutgers baseball held Lafayette to four hits in a 4-2 victory Wednesday at Bainton Field. The triumph improved the Scarlet Knights to a season-best seven games over .500 at 18-11.
Graduate student Karl Blum started on the mound and pitched four scoreless frames with four strikeouts. It was his longest outing this year. Following up and being credited with the win, redshirt sophomore Tommy Genuario (2-0) dealt two innings and permitted just a single. Junior Serafino Brito later escaped a jam in the seventh to strand the tying runs on base, while redshirt junior Ryan Wares locked down his first career save in the ninth.
Offensively, freshman Mike Nyisztor and junior Nick Matera each collected two singles. The run production came via RBI triples from both fifth-year senior Chris Folinusz and junior Jawuan Harris. RU used the most of its baserunners by leaving only three on base during the game.
Making his second start of the season, Blum worked around two on in the first inning to start a stretch of eight-straight retired through the third. He ended his outing when Folinusz grabbed a liner at first base and tapped the bag for a double play.
The Scarlet Knights broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of runs. Nyisztor picked up the first hit of the day for the home team and Matera followed with another single to put runners at the corners. A wild pitch ensued to allow Nyisztor to break the deadlock, with Folinusz then coming through with an RBI triple to the right-field corner. It was his second career triple.
Genuario posted two zeroes on the scoreboard and Rutgers tacked on two more to make it 4-0 after six innings. Nyisztor hit a one-out single and Matera countered with one of his own again. A fielder’s choice went down as the second out before Harris ripped a long shot to left-center and made it to third uncontested.
Lafayette (12-21) put their first four batters on in the seventh to score for the first time and added another on a wild pitch. That brought in Brito, who faced runners at second and third in a 4-2 ballgame with one out. The right-hander preserved the lead by striking out the two opposing hitters on a combined seven pitchers. Then in the eighth, he sat down the side in order helped by a leaping catch from sophomore Kevin Welsh at second base.
Wares finished off Rutgers’ fifth win in the last seven games. The last time the team was seven over at any point was at 30-23 following a victory over USF in the American Athletic Conference playoffs on May 21, 2014. In addition, the Scarlet Knights are just one victory away from matching the total from the entirety of last season.
Brian Lannino (1-3), who retired the first nine faced, took the loss for Lafayette. The Scarlet Knights are undefeated in their last 23 matchups against the Leopards, going 22-0-1 back to 1994.
Rutgers, sitting at 4-2 in the league, will head back to the road this weekend for a Big Ten series at No. 18 Illinois. The matchup begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
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