The Rutgers Scarlet Knights hit four home runs en route to defeating the Liberty Flames, 7-2, Friday at Worthington Stadium, snapping the Flames' nine-game winning streak.
With only their second loss in 16 games, Liberty drops to 16-4 on the season, while Rutgers ends their nine-game losing streak and moves to 4-9 on the year. The Flames' nine-game winning streak tied the NCAA Division I school record for consecutive wins with the 1985 and 1995 teams.
Rutgers took a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second inning on a leadoff solo home run by Frank Meade.
Liberty countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. After opening the inning by loading the bases, Phil John (Jr., RF, Linwood, N.J.) singled sharply back through the middle to plate a run. The next batter, Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) walked to force in the Flames' second run for a 2-1 lead.
Rutgers even the score with one in the third and took the lead with two in the fourth inning. In the third, Todd Frazier doubled to the wall in right center with two outs to score Vic Cegles, who had reached on a fielding error by the Liberty third baseman. Meade hit his second home run to lead off the fourth inning and the Scarlet Knights added a second run on a ground out by Tim Querns which scored Steve Hooks, who had doubled.
Up 4-2, Frazier add to the Rutgers' lead with a solo two-out home run to right field in the fifth inning, while in the sixth, Jeff Grose singled home another run.
Luis Feliz hit a solo home run in the eighth for a 7-2 Scarlet Knight advantage.
Liberty starter Ryan Page (So., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) took his first loss of the season after picking up the win in each of his last five appearances. The left-hander allowed six runs, five earned, over six innings on nine hits, while striking out four. Billy Daniels (Sr., RHP, Colonial Heights, Va.) followed with two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits, while striking out three. Jason Koziol (Fr., RHP, Paramus, N.J.) and Douglas Wallace (Fr., LHP, Hurricane, WVa.) worked the ninth.
Junior right-hander Steve Holt evened his record at 2-2 on the season for Rutgers, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out two and walking seven. Joe Baione recorded his first save allowing only one hit over three innings.
Tommy Bussey (Fr., DH, Boynton Beach, Fla.) was the only Flame with more than one hit on the afternoon, while Frazier collected three hits and teammates Meade and Grose had two for the Scarlet Knights.
Liberty and Rutgers will meet again tomorrow afternoon in the second game of their weekend series at Worthington Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.