UPDATE: The elimination game is over.....Rutgers 3 Louisville 1
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Down 7-5 in the seventh-inning, No. 2 Rutgers scored six runs en route to a 12-10 win over No. 3 Louisville in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. The win forces an elimination match between the Scarlet Knights and Cardinals today at 5:00 p.m.
Rutgers (39-19) struck quickly with runners on first and second in the opening frame, senior Dave Williams (Franklin, N.J.) hit a sharp grounder back up the middle to score Mike Bionde (Pompton Plains, N.J.) from second. The Scarlet Knights weren't finished in the inning however, loading the bases with two outs. Senior Tim Querns (Cherry Hill, N.J.) drew a full-count walk to bring home the second run of the frame and stake RU out to a 2-0 lead.
Louisville (40-19) responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a two-out, two-run home run from Jorge Castillo to give the Cardinals a 3-2 advantage.
Louisville cleanup hitter Isaiah Howes hit a solo home run with two outs in the third to make it 4-2.
Rutgers rallied for three runs in the fifth to surge out to a 5-4 lead. Junior National Player of the Year candidate Todd Frazier (Toms River, N.J.) led off the inning with his second home run in as many days, clearing the left-field wall by a considerable distance. Following two outs, Williams and Tom Edwards (Caldwell, N.J.) hit consecutive singles to set up the next two runs with runners on second and third. With DH Jon Gossard (Harrington Park, N.J.) at the plate, Louisville starter Colby Wark allowed Williams to score the tying run on a wild pitch before a passed ball later in the at bat gave the Scarlet Knights the 5-4 lead with Edwards crossing home.
Another two-out home run by Howes, this time a two-run blast, quickly gave the lead back to Louisville in the bottom half of the fifth. The Cardinals took a two-run advantage when Chris Dominguez led off with a single, stole second came around to score two plays later on a squeeze bunt.
Rutgers came right back with a sixth-run sixth inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from Frank Meade (Linden, N.J.) over the center-field fence with two outs in the frame.
Frazier led off the inning with his 57th walk of the season to break the school's single-season walk record (Craig Badger 1998). Bionde followed with a single and Ryan Hill's (Hillsdale, N.J.) attempt to sacrifice both runners over was scooped up by the pitcher, who elected to go for the lead runner at third. However, the throw was wild, allowing Frazier to come around and score. Williams collected his fourth hits of the day to drive in another run and Edwards recorded an RBI groundout to plate a third score before Meade's punishing blow.
RU extended its lead to five runs when Frazier came around to score from second base on a deep sacrifice fly from Hill.
Louisville mounted a comeback, plating two runs in with two outs in the eighth, forcing Scarlet Knight reliever Kevin Lillis (Fair Haven. N.J.) in with the bases loaded. Lillis balked on his first delivery to allow a third run in, but came back to strikeout Howes to get out of the inning.
Lillis sealed the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth to give Rutgers its first-ever victory in seven games against Louisville.
Williams lead RU's 10-hit attack with a 4-for-4 performance, to improve his average to .529 (9-for-17) in the tournament for Rutgers.