Rutgers baseball lands 2026 commitment from Mickey Gilligan

Rutgers baseball lands a class of 2026 commitment in Mickey Gilligan.

Mickey Gilligan committed to Rutgers baseball this week, giving the Scarlet Knights an impressive class of 2026 talent.

A Ringwood, N.J. athlete, Gilligan is a catcher and infielder. The 15-year old stands at 5-10 and 160-pounds; he bats left and throws right.

It is yet another recruiting win for a Rutgers baseball program that is clearly on the rise. Last season, the Scarlet Knights finished 44-15 (17-7 Big Ten). They were second in the Big Ten regular season and finished second in the conference tournament as well.

Catcher Nick Cimillo led Rutgers with a .385 batting average last season.

 

Here is a look at the newest member of the Rutgers baseball program in action:

Head coach Steve Owens is set for his fourth season at Rutgers as he looks to move from the rebuilding phase to firmly establishing the program as one of the top teams in the Big Ten. In his first three seasons at Rutgers, Owens has a 71-47 record.

Watch: Rutgers baseball’s Hugh Pinkney breaks tie in U-18 World Cup

Rutgers baseball class of 2023 commit Hugh Pinkney came up clutch in the WBSC U-18 World Cup for Team Canada

The WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup is currently being held in Bradenton Sarasota, Florida and there is a familiar face playing for the team from Canada.

A member of the class of 2023, Hugh Pinkney is playing for his native Canada in the World Cup. In Monday ngiht’s game against Team USA, Pinkney came to the dish in the top of the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded. The catcher came up big with an opposite field hit, driving in two clutch RBIs to give his team the lead 3-1.

Pinkney finished the game going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, but his team would end up on the losing end of this one. Team USA rallied late to come back and win 7-6. Canada moved to 0-3 in the tournament.

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The games  began on September 9 and wrap with the Championship on September 22. A member of the class of 2023, Pinkney committed to Rutgers over some other top schools in the nation. The catcher/outfielder was even drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 2022 MLB Draft, but decided to stay with the Scarlet Knights and pursue an education.

Pinkney spoke with Rutgers Wire after his commitment about why he chose to play for the Scarlet Knights:

“I committed to Rutgers because of the opportunity to earn a degree from a school with the academic reputation like Rutgers,” Pinkney told ‘Rutgers Wire’ this weekend.

“Also, the opportunity to play Big Ten baseball with an up and coming program, with great coaches was too good to pass up.”

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Donovan Zsak talks Rutgers baseball commitment, injury timeline and Big Ten future

Donovan Zsak breaks down his decision to join Rutgers baseball.

Rutgers baseball landed a significant recruit this week in Donovan Zsak. The New Jersey pitcher is the highest-ranked recruit to commit to the program in head coach Steve Owen’s tenure with the Scarlet Knights.

The New Jersey high school standout is a huge piece for Owens to land for his roster.

Zsak is ranked the No. 173 recruit in the nation and the No. 24 left-handed pitcher by PerfectGame. From Scotch Plains, he  attended St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.).

He was originally committed to Virginia before leaving the program this summer.

Last season, Rutgers went 44-15, finishing second in the Big Ten’s regular season and second in the Big Ten Tournament. 

Check out what [autotag]Donovan Zsak[/autotag] had to say about his decision to join Rutgers baseball, his injury rehab and where he thinks the Big Ten program is going on the national stage.

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Rutgers baseball lands class of 2025 standout Julius Rosado

Julius Rosado, the top freshman in New Jersey, commits to Rutgers baseball.

Rutgers baseball has landed a huge in-state prospect in Julius Rosado, the kind of recruit whose commitment to the Big Ten program will certainly make an impression on the area’s high school talent.

Rosado is a class of 2025 prospect who was named the NJ.com Baseball Newcomer of the Year for the previous baseball season. He plays infielder as well as pitcher for South River High School (South River, N.J.).

Last season in 28 games for South River he had 48 hits, 37 RBIs and 52 runs scored while batting .578.

He was a MaxPreps UnderClass All-American.

While he committed to Rutgers a few weeks ago, Rosado made it official via social media on Monday night. It was his first ever tweet:

 

Last season, Rutgers baseball took a significant step forward in its rebuild under Steve Owens. The Scarlet Knights went 44-15 with a 17-7 record in the Big Ten.

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Rutgers finished second in the Big Ten regular season and second in the Big Ten Tournament. It was a surprise to many national insiders that they did not make the NCAA Tournament.

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Rutgers baseball: Richie Schiekofer transfers to Florida

Rutgers baseball lost a star outfielder in the transfer portal to Florida.

Richie Schiekofer, one of the stars last season for Rutgers baseball, has officially transferred to SEC powerhouse Florida. The outfielder was an important part of a Scarlet Knights program that showed incredible consistency in finishing second in both the Big Ten and the Big Ten Tournament last season.

Last season as a redshirt junior, the left-handed hitter batted .330 with four home runs. He struck out 26 times in 179 plate appearances.

Losing Schiekofer is certainly significant for a Rutgers baseball program that was very solid a year ago. The Scarlet Knights went 44-15 last season including a 17-7 record in conference.

Florida is getting an instant impact-player in the former Rutgers outfield.

 

Between finishing behind Maryland in the regular season and losing to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament’s championship game (the only loss for the Scarlet Knights in the conference tournament), it was a big surprise to not see the program make the NCAA Tournament.

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Schiekofer’s new team is one of the best programs in the strongest conference in college baseball. They went 44-24 (15-15 SEC) and advanced to the championship game of the SEC Tournament.

They won three of their five games in the NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers baseball lands another player in the transfer portal

Rutgers baseball program continues to add strong pitching depth through the transfer portal in the form D-II transfer Jake Marshall.

On the backs of adding three players to close out June, Rutgers baseball has one again dipped into the transfer portal to sign yet another strong player. They added more pitching depth, this time in the rotation in the form of Jake Marshall.

Last season, Rutgers went 44-15 (17-7 in the Big Ten). They finished second in the Big Ten’s regular season and then were runner-ups in the conference tournament. Despite their strong season, they were a surprising omission from the NCAA Tournament.

Marshall pitched to a 6-3 record with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Le Moyne College Dolphins, a D-II program. He went at least six innings in his last nine starts, and 11 of his total 13. The junior finished with with an opponent’s batting average against of .216, with five complete games and three shutouts. His performance resulted in many accolades being named his division’s player of the year.

Head coach Steve Owens had positive things to say about his new transfer pitcher:

“Jake has put together an impressive season of work so far.  When he entered the portal, we were able to evaluate him as a starting pitcher against very good competition in the NECBL. He is a talented pitcher with a three-pitch mix who gets a ton of ground balls on his fastball. He fields his position well, controls the running game and has a mature approach to his work. We are excited to have him with us to help the team and we look forward to assisting him with his individual goals.”

Every program needs pitching depth, and the baseball scouts have been busy not only recruiting young talent out of high school but also through the portal. If the Scarlet Knights can replicate and even improve on their strong effort form this past seasons, the depth they are building now will be one of the main reasons why.

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Rutgers baseball’s Ryan Lasko to compete for Team USA

Rutgers’ Ryan Lasko received a huge opportunity this past week. The outfielder and New Jersey native received an invite to the 2022 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp.

Rutgers baseball’s Ryan Lasko received a huge opportunity this past week. The outfielder and New Jersey native received an invite to the 2022 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp.

Team USA training camp is reserved for the top college players who are not draft eligible. Close to 50 student athletes receive an invitation each year. Invitees will play a five-game intrasquad series from June 30 through July 4. At the culmination of training camp, USA Baseball will release the final 26-man Collegiate National Team roster to represent the United States during Haarlemse Honkbalweek (Haarlem Baseball Week) in the Netherlands from July 9 through July 15.

This past season, Lasko had one heck of a season. He led the Big Ten with 90 hits and 81 runs, while also tying for the Rutgers lead with 16 home runs, 12 of which came in Big Ten play – two shy of the all-time Big Ten record for HRs in Bit Ten play. The sophomore finished his season with a .349 batting average, a 1.074 OPS, and finished with an efficient 13-of-14 on stolen base attempts.

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Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Owens said “This is an exciting opportunity for (Ryan) to be able to showcase his abilities and compete to earn a spot on the team.” Only two Rutgers players have gone on to play for the Team USA Collegiate National Team, with Bobby Brownlee (2001) and Todd Frazier (2006) each representing Team USA on behalf of Rutgers.

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Awards continue to roll in for Rutgers baseball

Rutgers baseball and softball players continued to receive honors over the weekend. See who was honored and how they performed this season.

Awards season continued for Rutgers baseball this past weekend. Players on both the softball and baseball teams received honors this past Friday.

From the baseball squad, junior catcher Nick Cimillo was named the District 2 Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). District 2 consists of players from Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Washington D.C. Cimillo finished the season leading the entire Big Ten conference with a .385 batting average, .707 slugging percentage, and 1.199 OPS.

His 16 home runs were tied for the team lead, and he led all Scarlet Knights in walks. He was near the top of every offensive category for Rutgers baseball this season.

Also, this past Friday, Gabrielle Callaway and Kyleigh Sand from Rutgers softball heard their names called when the ECAC announced their All-ECAC teams. Callaway, a graduate student outfielder, was named to the First Team All-ECAC and the sophomore shortstop Sand received honorable mention honors. This is the third set of honors the teammates will share this year, as both previously received National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-Region honors and were the Scarlet Knights’ first-ever First Team All-Big Ten selections.

Callaway finished the season in a second-place tie on the single-season leaders’ list in RBIs with 47, and tied for eighth with 10 home runs. She was also near the tops in the Big Ten in multiple categories, including being first in sacrifice flies with six, and sixth in RBIs.

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The Alabama native also finished the season with a slash line of .377 / .472 / .649, good for seventh, eighth, and ninth in the Big Ten, respectively.

Sand was the table-setter all season. The lead-off hitter accrued a 398 batting average, the highest from a Rutgers player since 2011, and her team-leading 49 runs helped the Scarlet Knights score their most runs since 2015. Sand’s season resulted in her name being scattered amongst the best single-season numbers in program history. She finished with second-most hits with 68, third-most runs with 49, fourth-most walks with 33, tied for fifth most steals with 23, and the sixth-best batting average.

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On the Big Ten season leaders page, she finished fourth in both hits and stolen bases, fifth in batting average and on-base percentage (.495), and finished sixth in runs.

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Twitter reacts as Rutgers baseball was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament

Rutgers baseball didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, leading to plenty of anger on social media.

Rutgers baseball made the NCAA Tournament on Monday, the selection committee rewarding the Scarlet Knights for a second-place regular-season finish in the Big Ten as well as coming in second in the Big Ten Tournament. That’s some consistency right there.

That was supposed to be the introduction for yesterday’s piece heralding the return of Rutgers baseball to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, Rutgers baseball was left out with just two Big Ten programs being included this year.

It all led to quite a bit of consternation (that’s a polite way to say anger) on social media after Rutgers was left out.  Rutgers finished the season 44-15 (17-7 Big Ten) and with an RPI at No. 42.

It doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense and Rutgers fans on social media reacted as would be expected. Todd Frazier, for instance, made several tweets slamming the decision.

While the conspiracy theories and grassy knolls don’t quite hold up, it was clearly an unusual decision for the NCAA to overlook a strong and consistent regular season from Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights baseball program has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2007.

A look at how everyone from WFAN’s Craig Carton to Rutgers baseball alum Todd Frazier reacted to yesterday’s news about the baseball team’s snub from the NCAA Tournament!

Todd Frazier doesn’t hold back on Twitter as Rutgers baseball is shockingly left out of the NCAA Tournament

Rutgers baseball legend Todd Frazier reacts to the Scarlet Knights missing out on the NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers baseball got left out of the NCAA Tournament, a surprising if not shocking decision from the selection committee. And Todd Frazier, the most prominent alumni of the baseball program, didn’t hold back on social media on Monday afternoon

It was a tremendous year for Rutgers baseball, which finished 44-15 (17-7 Big Ten). They were remarkably consistent, having finished second in the Big Ten regular-season and second in the Big Ten Tournament. And yet the regular-season champion (Maryland) and the conference tournament champion (Michigan, who received an automatic berth) are both in the NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers finished the season with a No. 42 RPI.

D1Baseball projected Rutgers to make the NCAA Tournament.

Frazier spent 11 seasons in Major League Baseball. He was twice an All-Star and won a gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The former third baseman has been an avid fan of the baseball program, including being an outspoken advocate for the program’s direction under third-year head coach Steve Owens.

Check out what Frazier had to say, including a tweet directed at Mike Buddie, the athletic director at Army West Point. Buddie sits on the selection committee for the baseball tournament.