Feb. 16, 2014
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A six-run third inning was too much for Villanova (0-3) to overcome in an 8-4 loss to Charleston Southern (3-0) at CSU Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. Freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) had three hits and drove in two runs to lead the Wildcats offensively. Villanova was swept in the three-game series, which was played to its entirety in a span of less than 27 hours.
Senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) and sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) had two hits apiece and the Wildcats finished with 11 hits overall in the series finale. Jewitt also scored two runs and finished the weekend with a team-best five hits.
In the bottom of the third inning the Buccaneers sent 10 batters to the plate and turned a 1-0 lead into a seven-run advantage. The first five hitters of the inning all singled and Charleston Southern made the most of its run-scoring opportunities one base at a time. The big hits in the frame were two-run singles by Zack Hagaman and Nate Blanchard.
After both teams plated a single run in the fourth inning the Buccaneers were kept off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Junior reliever Jeff Courter (Maple Glen, Pa.), who entered the game during the third inning, retired six of the last seven batters he faced and senior Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) threw two scoreless innings in the seventh and the eighth.
Villanova got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Jewitt led off with a single and came around to score when Czinege tripled over the head of the right fielder. Jewitt also singled to start the sixth inning and eventually scored on three consecutive RBI singles.
Czinege found a hole on the left side to drive in Jewitt with the inning's first run, sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) singled through the right side to add another run and junior pinch hitter B.J. Bochicchio (Moosic, Pa.) drove a ball to left field to round out the scoring.
Junior starting pitcher JB Kole (Basking Ridge, N.J.) was charged with five earned runs on eight hits in two-plus innings of work and Courter allowed three runs over four innings of relief.
Charleston Southern starter Andrew Tomasovich allowed 10 hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings, while walking none and striking out eight. Two relievers for the Buccaneers combined to give up just one hit over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Denis Buckley registered a strikeout for the final out of the game after the Wildcats put two men on base in the top of the ninth. After the first two batters of the inning were retired sophomore pinch hitter Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) and sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) each walked to extend the game.
Villanova plays in the Spartan Baseball Classic at Norfolk State next weekend, beginning with a 3 p.m. game on Friday against Quinnipiac.