In what might have been the final start of his collegiate career, Mainland Regional High School graduate Charlie Law pitched his best game of the season Thursday at the Big East Conference baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
The Rutgers University right-hander pitched his first complete game in a 9-1 win over top-seeded Louisville, striking out nine. He improved to 6-5 on the season and kept the Scarlet Knights alive in the double-elimination tournament, while Louisville was eliminated.
Rutgers defeated South Florida 2-1 on Friday and will face Connecticut today in the semifinals.
“I just put the ball down the middle of the plate and my teammates fielded the ball really great,” Law said about his pitching performance on Thursday in a video interview on the Big East’s website. “You look how many hits we got and it’s not just me. Everybody was driving the ball today.”
In addition to Law’s performance on the mound, he was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. The RBI gave him a team-high 47 for the season.
Rutgers (28-29) got off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the first inning.
“It helped me immensely, I know that,” said Law, who threw 126 pitches in the game. “It made it so much easier that I could just get ahead of guys and just throw strikes. It brought our confidence back as a team. It was huge for us.”
Law picked up his second win of the season against the Cardinals (46-12), who are ranked No. 10 in Baseball America’s poll.
He faced no more than four batters in six of the nine innings as he dominated the Cardinals for the second time this season. He has only given up two runs over 17 innings against Louisville.
Law has 82 strikeouts for the season, the third most in a single season in Rutgers history.
The senior said the win goes down as one of the biggest of his collegiate career.
“No doubt. It’s obviously Big East tournament time and we needed this game to stay alive,” said Law, who lost the shutout in the ninth inning. “But I can’t say it enough: My team absolutely dominated today. I put it more on their solders than on mine.”
With Rutgers’ win on Friday, they will play Connecticut at 1p.m. today (ESPN3.com). If the Scarlet Knights win twice, they will play for the Big East title noon Sunday on ESPNU.
Lacey Township High School graduate Vinny Zarrillo played left field and was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Scarlet Knights on Thursday and drove in the game-winning run Friday on a groundout. Law was 2-for-4 with a run in Friday’s game.
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