Feb. 21, 2003
LAS VEGAS, NV. - In the 2003 season-opener for the Villanova baseball team on Friday, Feb. 21 at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., the University of Nevada Las Vegas defeated the Wildcats 19-4. Villanova scored four runs in the top of the first inning, but was unable to hold off a potent Rebel offense, which reeled off 19 unanswered runs in the 19-4 victory. The `Cats fell to 0-1 on the year with the loss, while UNLV improved to 7-3.
Junior designated hitter Adrian Schau got things started for the Wildcats started in the first inning with an RBI single to give Villanova the early lead. Two batters later, senior left fielder Brian Newbold singled through the left side to score Mitch Mitchell to give the `Cats a 2-0 lead. Villanova would add two more in the inning on a two-run single by sophomore Alan Day to give the Wildcats a 4-0 advantage after the first half inning of play.
The Rebels fought back in the bottom of the first against Villanova starter Tom Kandybowicz. UNLV scored six runs in the inning with the big blow coming on a three-run home run by catcher Robert Van Kirk. Van Kirk's blast gave the Rebels their first lead at 6-4.
UNLV continued its strong offensive production in the bottom of the third inning, as an eight-run outburst gave the Rebels a commanding 14-4 lead. Designated hitter Eddie Gill drove a three-run triple into the right-center field gap off of sophomore Michael Grodecki to start the scoring. Later in the frame, second baseman Ryan Ruiz hammered a three-run home run to right to help UNLV take command.
The Rebels would score three more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth en route to a 19-4 win.
Getting the win on the mound for UNLV was starter Robbie Van (1-1) who allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings, walking five and striking out six. Kandybowicz took the loss for Villanova to fall to 0-1.
At the plate for the `Cats, Newbold went three-for-three with a double and an RBI. Other offensive stars for Villanova included Schau who was two-for-three with one RBI, and Day who was one-for-one with two RBI.
Leading the way for UNLV was Vankirk who went four-for-four with a double, two home runs and five RBI.
The two teams will take to the field once again on Saturday in game two of a three game series at 5:00 p.m. EST.