WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A pair of eighth inning runs lifted the William and Mary baseball team past Rutgers, 4-3, on Friday afternoon in the series opener at Plumeri Park. Senior designated hitter Jackson Shaver drove in the tying run, while freshman pinch-hitter Jonathan Sarty plated the go ahead run as the Tribe improved its overall mark to 9-4. The setback drops Rutgers to 2-8 on the season.
Senior RHP Brett Koehler (2-1) was solid on a cold and blustery afternoon in Williamsburg, Va. The Glen Gardner, N.J., native worked 6.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs, while posting eight strikeouts in the no decision. Junior RHP John Sheehan earned the victory (1-0) after an outstanding performance in relief. In all, the Westwood, Mass., native recorded two strikeouts, while not allowing a base runner in 1.1 innings of action. Freshman Mitchell Aker recorded his third save of the year after retiring the Rutgers lineup in order in the ninth.
At the plate, Shaver finished the afternoon with an RBI, two hits and a run scored. Sophomore third baseman Michael Katz went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while junior left fielder Willie Shaw tallied a hit and a run batted in on two at bats. In his only at bat of the contest, Sarty connected on a single through the middle of the diamond. Seniors Ryan Brown and Derek Lowe along with junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth all registered a hit in contest.
As it has done often this season, the Green and Gold struck early with a pair of runs in the opening frame. With one out and runners on first and third, Katz's fielder's choice to the shortstop plated Nutter for W&M's first run of the contest. Shaw followed by driving in the Tribe's second run of the inning with a single through the left side, which plated Brown due to obstruction on the Rutgers third baseman.
The Scarlet Knight's tied the affair as it plated two runs in the top half of the fourth. With two outs and a runner on second, senior right fielder Steve Zavala connected on a two-run home run to right field.
In the top of the seventh, Rutgers went ahead, 3-2, after junior center fielder Brian O'Grady drove in junior shortstop Pat Sweeney with a single to right field.
W&M responded and in a big way as the Tribe scored the tying and go ahead runs in the bottom half of the eighth. With two-outs and freshman catcher Ryan Hissey on second, Shaver belted a single to left field, which tied the contest at 3-3. On a heads up play, Shaver advanced to second on RU's attempt to throw out Hissey at home. Sarty, who came in as a pinch hitter, plated Shaver for the go-ahead run with a single up the middle of the infield.
In the top of the ninth, Aker retired the side in order as the Tribe prevailed for the 4-3 victory.
The series continues tomorrow with the first pitch at Plumeri Park slated for 4 p.m. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live audio and stats.