PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers used a game-high four hits and two home runs from Jeff Melillo on 17 hits overall to defeat the Columbia baseball team, 15-6, on Tuesday afternoon at Bainton Field.
The Scarlet Knights (12-12, 5-1 Big East) were led by Melillo’s five-RBI performance on a 4-for-4 day, while Vinny Zarrillo knocked in three and Jennings, Favatella, Michael Zavala, Charlie Law and Pat Sweeney contributed another RBI apiece.
Eric Williams started things off in the right direction for Columbia with a leadoff single up the middle and Ferraresi drove in a two-run home run in the top of the first to give the Lions the first lead.
Rutgers responded with the first of its four three-run innings to pull ahead. Tietz hit a leadoff single and O’Grady reached base after he was hit by a pitch, putting two runners on as Favatella smacked a triple to send them both home for two RBI. Melillo then got his first hit of the day, as he singled to right field to send Favatella to the plate for the go-ahead run.
The Scartlet Knights added another run in the second and a trio of scores in the third before the Lions answered with Boyher’s two-run homerun in the fourth frame to make it a 7-4 game. However, Rutgers surged ahead with another three-run inning in the bottom of the frame to pull away, 10-4.
Aaron Silbar got things moving for Columbia in the fifth with a leadoff double down the left field line and advanced to third following a groundout by Alex Black. A sacrifice fly RBI by Ferraresi sent Silbar home to score to put another run on the board for the Lions.
Rutgers continued to extend its lead with another trio of runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth while the Scarlet Knights’ pitching staff silenced the Columbia bats. However, the Lions rallied in the ninth after Black reached second on a fielding error by third base and Boyher singled up the middle for an RBI, scoring Black, but the Lions ultimately fell short to the hot-hitting Scarlet Knights.
Joey Gandolfo (0-2) took the loss for Columbia by allowing three runs on four hits in 1.0 inning in his start on the mound. Nathaniel Roe (1-1) picked up his first win of the season by throwing 2.1 innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out one.
Columbia will continue its road stretch, as the Lions resume Ivy League action with a doubleheader at Yale on Saturday, April 6 beginning at 12 p.m., followed by a doubleheader at Brown on Sunday, April 7, also slated to begin at noon.