Lafayette Drops Slugfest to Visiting Rutgers
April 16, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Tim Lazor and Matt Lawrence each hit their first career home runs, but Lafayette fell to Rutgers in a slugfest, 14-8, on Tuesday afternoon at Kamine Stadium.
Rutgers (17-16) pounded out 15 hits, led by Vinny Zarrillo and Steve Zavala's three each. Lafayette (6-31) racked up 12 hits on the day, led by Lazor's 2-for-5 output, with three runs scored and two RBI.
After right-hander Alex Farina quickly got the first two outs to start the game, Rutgers' three-hole hitter Brain O'Grady drew a walk and scored when Zarrillo ripped a double to the warning track in left field. An error kept followed by a walk kept the inning alive and loaded the bases for Charlie Law, who walked on a 3-2 pitch to make it 2-0. Farina left the bases juiced by striking out R.J. Devish looking.
Lafayette failed to capitalize on Andrew Ruck's standup double in the bottom of the first and Rutgers made it 3-0 on Nick Favatella's solo home run to right field. The Leopards made some noise in the home half of the second inning when Lazor launched a two-run homer over the wall in left-center field. Lazor's first long ball brought home Alex Osuchowski after he led off the inning with a single to center.
Rutgers' starting pitcher Reed Shuttle battled through the rest of the frame, walking Campbell Lipe prior to Jackson Kramer's line drive to right. With runners on the corners and two away, Shuttle came away without any further damage as Ruck grounded out to second base.
Leading 3-2, Rutgers piled on a pair of runs in the third inning, which was highlighted by RBI singles by Zavala and Devish. Jeff Melillo set the table in the third with a double to right that was brought back into play by Alex Nickles' leaping effort. The inning ended when Ruck left his feet to make the third out of the inning at the fence in left.
Shuttle saw his afternoon come to a close in the bottom of the third once Lafayette placed runners at first and third with one down. The Scarlet Knights called on right-handed hurler Nathaniel Roe to face Lazor. Roe got him to pop up to shallow left field, but the ball was dropped, allowing Casey to score from third. Lafayette took advantage of the miscue and Lipe came through with a run-scoring double before an RBI groundout by Zach Gross tied the game at 5-5. Kramer's second hit of the day chased home Lipe and Lafayette led 6-5 after three full innings.
An inning later, Rutgers tied the game at 6-6 on a deep fly to right off the bat of Zavala. Ryan Callanan worked a scoreless fourth, but was lifted for Connor McMahon when the Scarlet Knights put two on with one away in the fifth. A free-pass loaded the bases for Matt Tietz and he regained the lead for Rutgers with a two-run double that bounced over and off the glove of Scott Kelleher at third. McMahon kept the deficit at 8-6 with a groundball and a flyout to finish the top of the fifth.
Lafayette wasted no time in tying the score in its next trip to the dish. Lawrence, a freshman, drilled a two-run dinger, the first of his career, out to left to finish Roe's relief outing. Jon Young came out of the bullpen and polished off the rest of the inning on two pitches, including Andrew Santomauro's single that he tried to stretch into a double.
The visitors responded with a five spot in the sixth to take a 13-8 lead and batted around against the combination of McMahon and Robert Tatum. The five runs came on four hits, all singles, and RU worked three walks in the inning. Rutgers added an insurance tally in the seventh and the Scarlet Knights led 14-8 at that point.
The score stayed there as Young and Lafayette's Ari Kaufman put up zeros the rest of the way. Young earned the win, throwing 4.1 innings of one-hit ball, while McMahon was charged with the loss.
Lafayette returns to the diamond on Saturday when its travels to Annapolis, Md. to play Navy. The four-game Patriot League series begins with a doubleheader at Noon.