Feb. 15, 2004
NORFOLK, VA. - On Sunday, Feb. 15th, at Marty L. Miller Field in Norfolk, Va., the Villanova baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Norfolk State by out-slugging the Spartans 19-9. Senior Danny Poydenis registered a career-high two home runs and six RBI, finishing the afternoon three-for-four with two walks and four runs scored. He helped the `Cats improve their record to a perfect 3-0 after the season's first weekend. Norfolk State fell to 1-5 with Sunday's loss.
Villanova got the scoring started early on Sunday, using the long ball to put two runs on the board in the top of the first inning. Sophomore centerfielder Kris Molloy led the game off with a bloop single to left field. With one out in the inning, Poydenis jumped on a 1-0 pitch and hammered an Anthony Boyer offering well over the wall in left field for a two-run home run. Poydenis' home run, his first of the season, gave the `Cats a 2-0 first inning lead.
In the bottom of the first inning, two walks, two hits and an error helped Norfolk State tie the contest up at 2-2. The first Spartan run came across on an RBI grounder to second base by Juan Serrano. Wildcat second baseman Mark Cardillo made a diving stop on the play but his errant throw pulled first baseman Alan Day off the bag. Norfolk tied the game later in the inning as A.J. Corbin scored on a wild pitch by Villanova freshman starter Kevin Mulvey. The Spartans pulled ahead, 3-2, in the second inning on a two-out RBI single by Darryl Chever.
The `Cats retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning, putting four runs on the scoreboard and knocking Boyer out of the game. Cardillo walked with one out and scored one batter later on a RBI double off the left field fence by Molloy. With one on and one out, Chris Blotter came on in relief of Boyer and allowed a leadoff RBI single to third baseman Angelo Petracca giving Villanova a 4-3 lead. On a 1-1 pitch to the next batter, Blotter grooved a fastball to Poydenis. Poydenis hit a towering home run over the left-center field wall for a two-run shot to give the `Cats a 6-3 advantage. The home run was his second of the game.
The Spartans closed the gap to two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on first and second and two outs, junior right-hander Joe McCoy came on in relief of Mulvey. Corbin blooped a double down the right field line off of McCoy to score one run. A perfect cut-off throw by right fielder Frank Cirone resulted in a play at the plate, as Day's throw beat T.J. Starkey for the third out of the inning to keep the score at 6-4.
The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the fifth inning. Freshman Alex Bardeguez posted his first career hit, lining a ball into the gap between short and third. Bardeguez went to second on an error by Blotter, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch to increase the Villanova lead to 7-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, Norfolk State rallied to tie the game at 7-7. Serrano led the inning off with his first career home run - a line drive over the left field fence to pull the Spartans with two at 7-5. Later in the inning, Wes Bush lined a two-run single into center to tie the game at 7-7. Wildcat reliever Jake Wolff came on in relief and stifled any further rally by Norfolk.
Spartan miscues helped the `Cats retake the lead in the top of the sixth. Senior leftfielder Brian Newbold reached on an error by third baseman Brandon Norvell and advanced to second on the throw. Newbold went to third on a wild pitch and later came around to score on another wild pitch by Norfolk reliever Joseph Weaver to give the Wildcats the lead back at 8-7.
In the top of the seventh inning, Villanova loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Poydenis then earned a bases loaded walk to force in a run as the Wildcats claimed a 9-7 lead. After Roshawn Cherry came on in relief, Newbold recorded a second straight bases loaded walk to increase the lead to 10-7. Day was plunked by a Cherry pitch on the next at-bat to force in yet another run, making it an 11-7 game. Cirone capped off the scoring with a bloop single to left to score Poydenis and increase the margin to 12-7.
Wolff walked the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, giving way to lefty Mike Ciccotelli. After a sac fly by Cheryl Chever cut the lead to 12-8, an RBI double by Corbin trimmed the lead even further to 12-9. Ciccotelli got Serrano to groundout to short to end the inning without further damage.
Poydenis kept up his hot hitting in the top of the eighth, lining a two-out RBI single (his sixth RBI of the day) up the middle to give the `Cats a 13-9 lead. Day added a two-run double in the inning to pad the margin to 15-9. The runs didn't stop there. Craig Mirsky blooped a pinch hit RBI single to right to make it a 16-9 contest; and before the inning was over, Cardillo and Jim Gillin added RBI singles to increase the lead to 18-9.
The `Cats added one more run in the ninth to cap of their day's scoring and give Villanova the 19-9 win.
Wolff got the win on the mound for the Wildcats to improve to 1-0, striking out two and allowing two runs in two innings of relief. Weaver took the loss to fall to 0-1.
The `Cats will get back into action on Friday, traveling to Atlanta, Ga., to play a three-game series at Georgia Tech.