No. 22 Baseball Stuns Indiana on Walk-Off Home Run by Sweeney

PISCATAWAY, NJ (April 17, 2022) – The magic continued for the No. 22 Rutgers baseball team, as Jordan Sweeney hit a walk-off solo home run at the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Indiana 10-9 and lead the Scarlet Knights to their 15th consecutive victory.

“This was a crazy game,” Head coach Steve Owens said. “We weren’t really sharp on the mound or on defense, but we got back in the game in the middle of it. We handed the ball off to eight different guys who did the best they could keep it right where it was and pitched out of some tough spots.”

It was a back-and-forth affair early, with Indiana initially jumping out to a 4-0 lead early. The Scarlet Knights quickly responded with an RBI single from Evan Sleight and 2-RBI double by Chris Brito to cut the deficit to 4-3 after three innings.

In the bottom of the third inning, Mike Nyisztor hit a line drive up the middle and beat out the throw for a single, his 200th career hit. Nyisztor becomes just the 18th player in program history to reach that milestone.

In the top of the fifth, a wild pitch on a third strike and a throwing error allowed the Hoosiers to load the bases with two outs when the inning could have been over. Instead, Carter Mathison hit a grand slam to make it 8-3.

RU clawed back, with Evan Sleight and Nick Cimil Each driving in a run at the bottom of the fifth before Josh Kuroda-Grauer singled with bases loaded to make it a one-run game.

Indiana would add a run to make it 9-7, but Chris Brito Hit a high solo home run in the seventh to get it right back.

In the bottom of the ninth, the drama ensued. After fouling off four pitches in an eight-pitch at-bat, Tony Santa Maria got a pitch he liked and lined it over wall with one out for a solo home run to tie the game.

Two batters later, the hero of Saturday’s game, Jordan Sweeney, stepped to the plate. After working the count for six pitches, he found himself in every young baseball player’s dream situation: Full count, bottom of the ninth, tie game. And for the second straight day, Sweeney delivered in a big way. He crushed a towering home run over the wall in left-center field to walk off the Hoosiers and finish off a three-game sweep.
 

“We gave ourselves a chance at the end and then Tony and Jordan did it again,” Owens said. “You feel pretty good with Jordan Sweeney up there after yesterday.”

Rutgers has now won 15 straight games, is 30-6 overall and sits atop the Big Ten standings at 11-1 in conference play.

Additionally, head coach Steve Owens clinched the 21st 30-win season of his illustrious coaching career and his first with Rutgers.

“It’s just a great team win,” Owens said. “It would have been very easy to give up after the grand slam. Most teams give up when you give up a grand slam in the middle of the game and go down 5. This team doesn’t give up. I’m really happy with the toughness that we’re showing.”

  • T1 | Bobby Whalen leads off the game with a double, goes to third on a flyout to center and scores on a passed ball. IU 1-0
  • T3 | Matthew Ellis hammers a sac fly into the left field, scoring Whalen. IU 2-0
  • T3 | Josh Pyne doubles into the left field corner, scoring Phillip Glasser. IU 3-0
  • T3 | Hunter Jessee grounds a single through the left side to score Pyne. IU 4-0
  • B3 | With runners on the corners, Evan Sleight singles into right field to bring home Mike Nyisztor. IU 4-1.
  • B3 | Chris Brito hammers a double to the wall in the left field, scoring Danny DiGeorgio and Nick Cimil. IU 4-3
  • T5 | With the bases loaded and two outs, Carter Mathison hits a grand slam to right-center field. IU 8-3
  • B5 | Evan Sleight hits his second RBI single of the game, this one into center field to score Ryan Lasko from second. IU 8-4
  • B5 | Nick Cimil lines a double into left-center field, scoring Danny DiGeorgio. IU 8-5
  • B5 | With the bases loaded, Josh Kuroda-Grauer singles into left field to score Sleight and Cimillo. IU 8-7
  • T6 | Matthew Ellis hits a dribbler back to the pitcher and Bobby Whalen beats the throw home to score from third on the play. IU 9-7
  • B7 | Chris Brito hits a high fly ball that carries over the fence in left-center field for a solo home run (8). IU 9-8
  • B9 | Tony Santa Maria fouls of a number of pitches before lining a solo home run (8) to left field. Tie 9-9
  • B9 | Jordan Sweeney crushes a walk-off home run (5) to deep left-center field to end the game. RU 10-0

Rutgers will host Iona on Tuesday at Bainton Field and then visit Princeton on Wednesday afternoon for a pair of 3 pm midweek contests.

Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding baseball, follow the program on Twitter (@RutgersBaseball), Instagram (@rutgersbaseball) and Facebook (/BaseballRU). For additional updates, please download the Scarlet Knights App via the app store or play store.

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