Feb. 22, 2003
LAS VEGAS, NV. - On Saturday, Feb. 22, at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas, the Villanova baseball team fell to UNLV, 21-7, as the Rebels pounded out 17 hits and took advantage of eight hit batters by Wildcat pitchers. The day was not without its shining moments for the `Cats, however, as newcomers Danny Poydenis and Mitch Mitchell combined for six hits. Villanova fell to 0-2 with Saturday's loss, while UNLV bettered its season mark to 8-3.
The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning as senior left fielder Brian Newbold followed back-to-back singles by junior designated hitter Adrian Schau and Mitchell with a lined single to center to give Villanova the early 1-0 advantage.
In the top of the third inning, the `Cats increased their lead to 2-0. Poydenis doubled to right field with one out and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Catcher Greg Fater laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score Fater with Villanova's second run of the ballgame.
UNLV rallied with four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take its first lead of the contest, 4-2. Left fielder Andrew D'Angela got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly, and third baseman Patrick Dobson tied the contest with an RBI fielder's choice. The Rebels added two more runs in the inning with the first coming on a Wildcat error and the second on an RBI single by second baseman Ryan Ruiz to take a 4-2 lead.
After adding one more run in the fourth inning, UNLV broke the game open by putting up a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase the margin to 9-2. Right fielder Eric Neilsen homered in the inning for the Rebels.
In the top of the sixth inning, Mitchell hit his first career Villanova home run hammering a Jake Vose offering over the wall in right field.
The UNLV offense was too much to handle, however, as the Rebels scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh inning and eight in the eighth inning helped in large part by five hit batters to take a 21-7 victory.
Villanova starter Nick Allen took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. He allowed six earned runs on 11 hits in four innings. Vose got the win for UNLV to improve to 2-2, as he allowed just three runs on five hits in six innings, striking out five batters.
At the plate for the Wildcats, Poydenis went three-for-five with a double, two runs scored and one RBI, while Mitchell went three-for-five with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. Senior catcher Marshall Canosa came off the bench in the late innings to go two-for-two with one RBI.
For UNLV on offense, Fernando Valenzuela went three-for-five with two doubles and two RBI, while Nielsen went one-for-four with a home run and two RBI.
The two teams will wind down the three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 23, with game three taking place at 4:00 p.m. EST.