Rutgers Walk-Off Home Run Drops Baseball 12-11
After battling back to even the game in the eighth inning, a walk-off Rutgers home run dropped the Princeton baseball team 12-11 in midweek non-conference action. In a game where there were 23 combined walks, the Tigers took off early with a 5-0 lead, before being forced to play catch up through the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, Scarlet Knight leadoff batter Nick Favatella sent the game-winning run over the left center fence to drop Princeton to 9-11 on the year.
From beginning to end the game saw several momentum swings, with Princeton taking control over the first three frames. Sam Mulroy lifted the Tigers to an immediate 2-0 advantage, sailing his 24th career home run over the left field fence in the top of the first. Mulroy, who is now two homers away from tying the Princeton all-time record, went 3-for-4, tallying four RBI and two runs in the game.
In the second, Princeton loaded the bases with three straight walks to open the inning. Alex Flink would score on a wild pitch and Matt Bowman, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs, added a second run with an RBI single to the left side. Two batters later, Mulroy nearly had his second home run in as many innings, as the ball went just foul over the left field fence. Mulroy would make it a 5-0 game with a sacrifice fly.
Mirroring the top of the second, Rutgers loaded the bases with three straight walks in the bottom half of the inning. The Scarlet Knights nearly evened the score, tallying four runs off two hits and a wild pitch.
Princeton remained in control in the third, as the offense provided two more runs in. Following a Steve Harrington leadoff double, Rutgers reliever Charlie Laskey gave up three consecutive walks to score Harrington. One out later, Bowman took a four-pitch walk to send Princeton into the bottom half of the third up 7-4.
In the top of the fourth, Mike Ford made his only hit in the game count, as he singled to right field to score the Tigers' eighth run of the game.
Despite holding an 8-4 advantage, Princeton was unable to shutdown the Rutgers offense. The Scarlet Knights tacked on three runs in the bottom half of the fourth off a bases loaded walk and a Bill Hoermann two RBI single. They then took control of the game, 11-8, with four runs over the fifth and sixth innings.
After seeing their early lead disappear, the Tigers continued to battle back and eventually evened things up. In the seventh, Ryan Albert hit a one out RBI single to left field and in the eighth Princeton tied the game, 11-11. With a runner on first, John Mishu hit an RBI triple to right center and two batters later Mulroy brought Mishu home with a RBI single down the left field line.
In the top of the ninth, Princeton was unable to retake the lead, succumbing to a 1-2-3 inning. The bottom half of the frame ended quickly, as Favatella connected on a Tyler Foote (0-1) pitch to score the game-winner.
The Tigers (3-1 Ivy League) resume league play with doubleheaders at Yale (Apr. 7) and Brown (Apr. 8) this weekend.