VILLANOVA, PA--- In Big East baseball action at McGeehan Field, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights tallied a 6-5 win over the Villanova Wildcats. With the victory, Rutgers improves to 11-10 overall, while Villanova falls to 13-8-1 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
Rutgers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Dave Marciniak singled home David DeJesus. The Scarlet Knights would increase their lead to 4-0 in the top of the third. The big hit of the Rutgers third was a two-run home run by freshman Jake Daubert. In the fourth, DeJesus drove in two with a double, increasing the Scarlet Knight advantage to 6-1.
Villanova mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth. After senior Rick Welsh doubled with one out, junior Bill Brehm reached first on an error by Rutgers shortstop Darren Fenster. Following a Nick Piantek strikeout, senior catcher Augie Grove hit his first home run of the season to cut the Rutgers lead to 6-4. Later in the inning, senior Tom Shank pulled Villanova to within one at 6-5 when he singled home freshman Dave Pizzini.
In the bottom of the ninth, Shank drew a leadoff walk to start a Wildcat rally. After freshman Matt Longo went down on strikes, junior Dan Boublis walked, giving the Cats runners on first and second with just one out. Rutgers right-hander Jeff Miller then got Welsh to hit into a game ending 6-4-3 double play.
Senior Mike Mundy pitched 6.1 innings to earn the victory for Rutgers, while Miller was credited with the save. For Villanova, Boublis hurled eight innings, giving up 11 hits, while striking out nine.
Due to rain that caused the start of the game to be delayed until 2:05 p.m., the two teams were only able to play one game this afternoon. The three-game series will conclude on Sunday, April 5 with a doubleheader beginning at noon.