May 21, 1998
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Dave Marciniak’s three-run double highlighted a six-run top of the ninth as fifth-seeded Rutgers rallied to upset second-seeded Auburn 17-15 in the opening round of the NCAA Atlantic II Regional in Tallahassee at Dick Howser Stadium.
The Scarlet Knights (33-14), champions of the Big East Conference, pounded out 19 hits, including seven for extra bases, against four Tiger pitchers and scored in seven of their nine at-bats. Rutgers won despite committing seven errors, including two in the bottom of the ninth.
Auburn (43-17), who advanced to the College World Series after winning the East Regional in Tallahassee last year, banged out 18 hits and scored in six of their nine trips to the plate. The Tigers scored twice in the ninth and had a chance to tie or win the game with two outs in the inning but Derek Reif flew out to right field with two men on base to end the game.
Pete Zoccolillo led Rutgers at the plate, going five-for-five, with four runs scored and three RBI. Four Scarlet Knights had three runs batted in.
Auburn will play in an elimination game against the loser of tonight’s Florida State-Liberty game at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. Rutgers will take on Oklahoma at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow in the winner’s bracket.