Baseball Win Streak Ends at Five

Newark, NJ (4/3/08) - Freshman second baseman Matt Connors (Hasbrouck Heights, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights HS) went three for four with a pair of bunt singles and Rutgers-Newark took advantage of early pitching troubles by Montclair State to post a 9-3 New Jersey Athletic Conference win in Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. The loss snapped MSU’s five-game winning streak.

Sophomore righthander Jack Winters ( Oradell, NJ/River Dell) evened his record at 3-3 by blanking the Red Hawks over the first seven innings.  He struck out seven and walked four while giving up just three hits.

The Scarlet Raiders (9-11, NJAC 2-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead at the end of two innings with sophomore third baseman Joe Furnaguera (Springfield, NJ/Jonathan Dayton) capping a two-run first with a two-out, two-run single to left before Rutgers-Newark scored four runs in the second on a single by Connors, three walks and two hit batters to chase starter D.J. Cunningham (Florham Park, NJ/Hanover Park).

The lead swelled to 9-0 before the Red Hawks (9-8, NJAC 3-1) pushed across three runs in the ninth highlighted by RBI singles by reserve leftfielder Jerry Casale (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Hills) and back-up catcher Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township).

Furnaguera went two for five with three RBI on the day and junior catcher Gerard Russomanno (Totowa, NJ/Passaic Valley) had a two run double in the sixth as the Raiders maximized seven hits against five Montclair State pitchers.  Sophomore designated hitter Anthony Yeswita ( Hasbrouck Heights, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights) scored three runs, drove in a run when hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second and doubled to lead off the sixth.

Senior centerfielder Michael Nunes (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) had the only extra-base hit for the Red Hawks, a one-out double to centerfield in the third.  Montclair State got three of its six hits in the final inning.

Rutgers-Newark visits William Paterson at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow for another NJAC game while Montclair State is set to host Ramapo in a conference doubleheader at noon on Saturday.