By David F. Pendrys (Eyewitness report checked against official box score.) [Image Gallery]
NEWARK, NJ- The Rutgers Newark Scarlet Raiders and the Montclair State Red Hawks split a double header Saturday afternoon in the Brick City. Game 1 went deep into extra innings, taking eleven to decide it. In the top of the 11th with one out MSU’s Jose Carlos Padilla was hit by a pitch, and Cody Pace came up next knocking a double to the center wall. Padilla was held at third. However, the next batter popped out to center field. Padilla tagged and ran for home and was thrown out by Ryan Macfarlane of the Scarlet Raiders.
Rutgers Newark came up and with one out, Macfarlane singled into right field. The next batter tried to advance him but his bunt was a popper and Juan Perdomo Jr of the Red Hawks got to it. MSU made a pitching change but that didn’t stop Kevin Olah from doubling to center field scoring Macfarlane and winning the game 5-4.
After that marathon it was time to play another nine. Jonathan Torregroza took the mound for Montclair State, and Michael Garcia was given the nod for Rutgers Newark. The two teams held each other scoreless through five innings. In the top of the sixth however Michael Rizzo doubled to the corner in left field. Anderson Rosa came up and singled to left as well scoring Rizzo for the first run of the game.
Rutgers Newark responded in the bottom of the inning though, as Vin Troisi beat out a bunt to first base. His teammate Macfarlane then made it to first with an infield hit and Troisi made it to second. Matt Larangera then bunted and advanced the runners, only to make it to first safely as well as MSU couldn’t get the ball to any base on time. This set up Olah’s sacrifice fly to even the game at 1. Torregroza escaped the inning with no further damage though.
In the top of the seventh, MSU’s Nicholas Martins singled to LF. Connor Abreu advanced him though when he hit the ball straight to Garcia hitting his leg. Garcia got the ball to first in time though, even though Martins made it to second. Pace came up to bat, and on a wild pitch soon afterward, Martins got himself to third. Pace then whacked a single scoring Martins for a 2-1 lead. Garcia got out of the inning after that but the damage was indeed done. The Scarlet Raiders did not respond in the seventh and to the eighth the teams went.
A dust up came in the top of the eight as Montclair tried to get insurance runs. Jonathan Dominguez had relieved Garcia. MSU put two men with one out. Matt Moreno hit a grounder which ended up thrown to second, and then to first where Moreno was called out. This did not sit well with the Montclair team nor fans who were right along the first base line and a great deal of shouting ensued. Eventually things settled down and the Scarlet Raiders came up to bat, but were unable to score.
Dominguez held MSU scoreless in the top of the ninth, but Torregroza and his relief, Jake Campbell held Rutgers scoreless in the bottom for the win. Each team got themselves a win as Montclair State rose to 9-5 (1-1) and Rutgers 6-13 (1-1).