AUBURNDALE, Fla. (March 13, 2017) – The Rutgers University-Camden baseball team scored seven runs over the final three innings, rallying from a five-run deficit, and went on to defeat 17th-ranked Oswego State, 13-11, at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational here Monday morning.
Trailing, 11-6, the Scarlet Raptors scored five runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game before plating two in the ninth to post their first victory over a D3baseball.com Top 25 team this season. On Sunday, they edged Washington University of St. Louis, which had been ranked No. 17 in the pre-season poll before falling just out of the Top 25 in last week's poll.
Rutgers-Camden's game-winning ninth inning started with a double down the left field line by junior designated hitter Brett Kuchera (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood). He was sacrificed to third by freshman third baseman Matthew Stoots (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton) and scored when senior first baseman Frank Cerami IV (Lumberton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) ripped a triple to left field. One out later, Cerami scored on a two-out single to right by sophomore centerfielder Peter Farlow (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic).
The rally gave senior Justin Geri (Vineland, NJ/Buena Regional) his first career victory at Rutgers-Camden. Geri, a transfer who played two years at Cumberland County College before joining the Scarlet Raptors last season, hurled 3.2 strong innings of two-hit ball as he shut down the hard-hitting Lakers. Geri (1-0) allowed only one run and one walk, while striking out two.
Rutgers-Camden grabbed a 6-1 lead midway through the fifth inning before Oswego struck for six runs in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the sixth. The Scarlet Raptors, however, evened the score with five runs on five hits in the seventh. Kuchera and Farlow both had two-run singles in the frame, while Cerami singled home the other run.
Cerami also notched a two-run single in the Scarlet Raptors' four-run fourth inning, while senior catcher Jon Theckston (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) singled home both runs in the fifth. That fifth-inning uprising started with a double by senior rightfielder Zach Ellin (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) and a single by sophomore second baseman Chris Jones (Washington Township, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep).
Rutgers-Camden finished the game with 17 hits off of four Laker pitchers. Theckston, Kuchera, Stoots and Cerami ripped four hits apiece, while Jones and Farlow both added two. Cerami finished the day with four RBIs. Kuchera and Farlow both had three RBIs and Theckston notched two.
Kuchera scored three runs, while Stoots, Cerami, Jones and senior leftfielder Doug Carter Jr. (Union, NJ/Union) each scored twice.
Junior rightfielder John Barnes (Greenwich, NY/Greenwich) went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs for Oswego State.
Rutgers-Camden will play Endicott College Tuesday at 3:45 at the RussMatt Invitational.