Rutgers topples No. 18 Iowa, wins seventh consecutive season finale
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Propelled by the pitching performances of senior Jon Young and junior Mark McCoy, Rutgers topped Iowa 3-2 to take the series Saturday at Bainton Field. The Scarlet Knights have now won seven consecutive home finales dating back to 2009.
Factoring in the 5-3 Thursday win, RU became the first team to take a series from Iowa all season, as the visitors had won eight consecutive Big Ten sets dating back to last year. Rutgers previously won weekends against Purdue and Minnesota in its first trip around the Big Ten.
Slotted into a starting role for the first time since the opening weekend in 2014, Young (3-1) came through with five quality innings in his final collegiate appearance to earn the win. The righthander permitted two runs and struck out three in his 60th career game. McCoy followed up and was sharp over four scoreless innings to collect his first career save. The duo let Iowa runners on every inning, but combined to strand 13 on base.
Offensively, sophomore Tom Marcinczyk delivered the big blow at the plate with a two-run double in the bottom of the third. He notched two RBIs in each of the three games of the series to end the season with a team-high 36 knocked in. Sophomore Christian Campbell (two singles), junior R.J. Devish (walk, single) and junior John Jennings (single, hit by pitch) all reached twice for RU. The Scarlet Knights made the most of opportunities with only five left on base.
Prior to the game, Rutgers recognized its three seniors for their contributions to the program: Joe D'Annunzio, Young and Vinny Zarrillo.
After the Hawkeyes (38-14, 19-5) picked up one in the second, the Scarlet Knights responded in the bottom of the frame. Junior Chris Suseck singled up the middle to start and advanced on a one-out walk drawn by Devish. The second out was recorded without advancement, but a pitch on the ensuing hitter went wild and Suseck was able to come all the way around from second after the ball was not timely located. It was the second time this month RU picked up a two-base scoring wild pitch, as Devish did it to beat Saint Peter's on May 5.
Rutgers took its first lead in the third. Jennings and Zarrillo both singled up the middle, but an out was recorded at third on a bunt. Marcinczyk then stepped up and drilled a ball that one-hopped the wall in right to score two. The relay throw made it a close play on D'Annunzio, but he slid in safely to put RU up 3-1.
In the fifth, Iowa brought in one on a Kris Goodman RBI single to cut it to 3-2. However, Young finished off his outing by stranding the bases loaded. He threw 94 pitches in the game, as his previous season-high mark was 55.
The 3-2 score would end up holding with McCoy making his first relief appearance of the year. He allowed a leadoff double in the eighth that would make the situation dicey. The Hawkeyes sacrificed the tying run to second, but McCoy induced a short pop fly to center for the second out. Next up, Eric Toole flared a ball down the left field line that looked like it has potential to get down. D'Annunzio did not allow that, as he dove to the backhand side to snare the final out and strand the runner at third.
Iowa threatened again in the ninth by putting runners at the corners with two outs. After a mound visit, McCoy generated a routine grounder to Jennings at shortstop to seal the victory.
Calvin Mathews (5-2) suffered his second loss of the year with three runs allowed over four innings. Iowa totaled 12 hits on the day, but hit 5-for-22 with runners on in defeat.
Rutgers concludes the 2015 season at 19-35-1 and 7-17 in the Big Ten, going 13-10 at Bainton Field overall.