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.

 

Where do things stand for Rutgers baseball ahead of selection Monday?

Rutgers baseball still has an upbeat outlook for the NCAA Tournament despite a loss in the Big Ten Championship Game.

The outlook for Rutgers baseball to make the NCAA Tournament is still positive, although the window is a bit tighter following a tough end to the Big Ten Tournament.

On Sunday, the Scarlet Knights lost in the Big Ten Championship Game to Michigan. The Wolverines now have an automatic entrance into the NCAA Tournament.

College Sports Madness projects Rutgers baseball making the field of 64. According to the projections, the Scarlet Knights are in the Chapel Hill Regional with No. 4 North Carolina, UCLA and Binghamton.

Rutgers baseball, despite making the Big Ten Championship Game, dropped two spots to No. 42 in the latest RPI update following Sunday’s games. Maryland, who were upset earlier in the tournament, dropped just one spot to ninth.

Big Ten Network analyst Michael Huff said on Monday morning that he thinks the Scarlet Knights are tournament-bound.

“Yes I do – [their] RPI is at 42,” Huff said.

“A 44-15 overall record.  3-1 in Big Ten tourney, 17-7 Big Ten record, and No. 2 regular season and tourney placement.  I feel like all of these factors will get Rutgers into the NCAA Tourney.”

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With Michigan assured of an NCAA Tournament berth and Maryland ranked top 10 nationally, it remains to be seen if Rutgers will make it three teams from the Big Ten this season.

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With Big Ten Tournament wins, Rutgers baseball moves up five spots in college baseball RPI

Rutgers baseball is moving up the RPI with their wins at the Big Ten Tournament.

The Big Ten Tournament has been good for Rutgers baseball, likely putting the Scarlet Knights in position to make the NCAA Tournament.

Rutgers opened the Big Ten Tournament with a win over Purdue and then followed it up with a Friday night win over Penn State. Those two wins have now propelled Rutgers (43-14, 17-7 Big Ten) up the RPI standings.

As of an update through May 27, Rutgers baseball is now up five spots in the latest RPI update and sit at No. 38 nationally in the metric.

Only Maryland, at fourth in the RPI, is higher in the Big Ten.

The Scarlet Knights are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do in order to build an NCAA Tournament resume. Before the start of the conference tournament, Big Ten Network analyst Michael Huff said that Rutgers needed a couple of wins to secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

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He said that getting their RPI up would be important for them in order to grab an at-large bid.

“Since they are the two seed, they need to win the first two games.  I think this will get their RPI from 41 into the 30s…same can be said of Iowa – win first two games to get RPI into the 40s from mid-50s,” Huff said this past Tuesday in an interview with RutgersWire.

“If you can beat Iowa in the second game, then Rutgers just needs to win one more game before getting knocked out.  3-2, in my opinion, gets you the NCAA.  The easiest way into the NCAA tournament is to just win the Big Ten Tourney.”

Rutgers baseball hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2007.

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The latest projections have Rutgers baseball in the NCAA Tournament

Rutgers baseball is in the NCAA Tournament in the latest projections.

Rutgers baseball had a nice start to the Big Ten Tournament, putting the Scarlet Knights in a strong position to make the NCAA Tournament. In fact, the most recent projections have Rutgers making the NCAA Tournament.

Making the NCAA Tournament, by the way, is something that Rutgers baseball hasn’t done since 2007.

The projections are from earlier this week and prior to the start of the Big Ten Tournament. Rutgers won their opening game against Purdue and will face Penn State on Friday afternoon.

Earlier this season, Rutgers took two of three games at University Park against the Nittany Lions. In the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State is the sixth seed.

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Rutgers is now 42-14 (17-7 Big Ten). They are No. 43 in the RPI as of May 26.

Earlier this week, Big Ten Network analyst Michael Huff said that the Scarlet Knights need three wins from the Big Ten Tournament to comfortably secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

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They are one of two Big Ten teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament. Mayland, an absolute juggernaut this season and the top-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, is the other team projected to make the NCAA Tournament from the conference this season.

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Big Ten Network Jeff Leise doesn’t seem to rate Rutgers baseball for the Big Ten Tournament

Rutgers baseball isn’t listed as a favorite to win the Big Ten Network by Jeff Leise.

Rutgers baseball can’t get no respect. No respect at all.

Jeff Leise doesn’t seem to be giving Rutgers baseball much of a chance in the Big Ten Tournament, the Big Ten Network baseball analyst leaving the Scarlet Knights out from his list of teams that could challenge Maryland.

A former standout centerfielder at Nebraska, Leise was a draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2003.

On the Big Ten Network on Tuesday, Leise was asked if, after No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Rutgers, what teams could potentially make a run in the Big Ten Tournament. The network analyst said that after Maryland, the team he likes the most in the tournament is Iowa.

He then rattled off several other teams, not including Rutgers in the mix.

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Leise twice mentioned other teams that can win the Big Ten baseball tournament if Maryland isn’t the pick.

“I think Iowa probably would be my pick to win it out if I wasn’t picking Maryland, right? If I’m going take the chalk I’d go with Maryland; [if not] I’ll go with Iowa,” Leise said on the Big Ten Network.

“But like I said, Illinois…Illinois is dangerous, a very well rounded team. They can swing it pretty good. They’ve got good guys on the mound, they can play defense. So, I like that that Illinois team; like I said, Michigan’s got a lot of talent. Those are kind of the teams to me if you weren’t picking Maryland – [it would be] Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, [the] three, four, five seed all are kind of a live dog, if you will.”

Earlier in the broadcast, Leise said he didn’t think Rutgers was sharp in their regular season finale where they lost two of three at Michigan. This might be impacting his outlook for the conference tournament.

Rutgers did lose two games in their three-game home series to Maryland earlier this month. To back Leise’s point, the Scarlet Knights only lost three series all year: Iowa, Maryland and then this past weekend to Michigan.

That certainly must factor in to why Leise is mentioning Maryland and then several other teams in his list of teams to watch this week.

Rutgers finished the regular season 41-14 (17-7 Big Ten). They won this past Saturday to salvage their three-game series at Michigan. Another Big Ten analyst, Michael Huff, thinks Rutgers needs three wins from this week to book their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

They won four of their last six games and are receiving votes in the last regular season USA TODAY Sports baseball coaches poll.

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This season was the first time in program history that the Scarlet Knights finished as a second seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The program hasn’t made an NCAA Tournament since 2007.

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Is Rutgers baseball in our out? Latest college baseball tournament projections are in

The latest NCAA College World Series projections have Rutgers baseball making the tournament.

Rutgers baseball is having one of the best seasons in program history, putting them on the cusp of an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 2007. The latest projections for Rutgers and the tournament don’t have the Scarlet Knights necessarily as a lock, but they are more comfortable than not in their postseason outlook.

The projections came out before this weekend’s series at Michigan. Rutgers has dropped the first two games in Ann Arbor, marking just the third time this season that Rutgers will have lost a series.

The Scarlet Knights head into today’s regular-season finale with a record of 40-14 (16-7 Big Ten).

As for their postseason outlook, the NCAA website is projecting that Rutgers will be the third seed in the Coral Gables region along with No. 1 Miami, No. 2 Florida and No. 4 Florida A&M.

As for the rest of the Big Ten, Maryland is a top seed in the projections, putting them in the College Park region along with No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Old Dominion and No. 4 Fairfield.

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No other Big Ten program makes the field of 64 teams.

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In a recent interview with RutgersWire, Big Ten Network analyst Michael Huff praised the job done by head coach Steve Owens so far this season:

“In my opinion, Rutgers is definitely trending up. I think what I’ve seen, and again, what I’ve heard about him at Bryant was a developer of talent and obviously some great teams over there as he translated that experience, which is very unique and rare. So I think he has the earmarks of something and someone special,” Huff told ‘Rutgers Wire.’

“So I think overall, he’s stepped into a new job and you start to see what he’s been able to do is pretty extraordinary. I don’t know how many other head coaches could have accomplished what he’s done in his first three years.”

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BTN’s Michael Huff: Rutgers baseball head coach Steve Owens could attract ACC, SEC jobs soon

Rutgers baseball head coach Steve Owens has done a tremendous job rebuilding the program. SEC and ACC are likely to take an interest.

Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs has sure hit a home run with the hire of Steve Owens as head coach of the baseball team. In fact, Rutgers baseball is on the verge of making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over a decade as Owens’ has effectively rebuilt the program.

And now because of that success, Hobbs might face a battle to keep Owens on staff.

In just three seasons, Owens has turned a once middling baseball team into one on the cusp of being nationally ranked. But in the competitive world of collegiate baseball, what Owens has done with the program won’t be lost.

If Owens can turn Rutgers into a team consistently making the NCAA Tournament, then powerhouse programs from the SEC and the ACC will begin looking at him as a viable head coaching candidate. The job he has done with Rutgers has been tremendous.

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Big Ten analyst Michael Huff, a former Major League Baseball player (and college teammate at Northwestern with Joe Girardi), thinks that Owens will soon be attracting the attention of some bigtime programs.

“Yes, I mean, the most recent obvious example of that is Chris Lemonis leaving Indiana and then winning the NCAA national title at Mississippi State. Before that Tracy Smith heading out to Arizona State,” Huff told RutgersWire in a recent interview.

“So yeah, I can see the ACC especially because of Steve’s connections and relationships on the East Coast. I can see the SEC, at some point, you know, two or three years down the road. My hope is that the Big Ten does enough in terms of the Rutgers athletic director, but also then Commissioner [Kevin] Warren helps to promote Big Ten baseball – that there’s enough meat on the bone there that keeps someone in a place that seems to be a really good fit rather than that person thinking ‘I can’t get to the highest level if I’m in the Big Ten.'”

Rutgers is 39-12 on the season and 16-5 in the Big Ten. Huff said that he thinks Rutgers along with No. 17 Maryland are the only locks from the Big Ten for the NCAA Tournament.

The Scarlet Knights last made the NCAA Tournament in 2007. Owens has a young, rebuilt team ready to change all that.

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Facilities will be a major issue for Rutgers with upgrades to Bainton Field very much needed. Some of the recently announced upgrades will be helpful but the Rutgers facilities are bottom-half of the Big Ten.

This could lead Owens to potentially leave the program if he doesn’t see enough being done to upgrade the facilities and invest adequately in the program.

“So I would agree that Steve…three-four years from now, if he continues this, they’ll definitely be calling,” Huff said.

“But hopefully there’s a package…there’s enough success…there’s enough acknowledgment….there’s enough compensation…that he realizes this is a really good situation for himself and his family. The grass won’t always be greener on the other side of the hill, so to speak.”

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