Late Lead Can't Hold Up as Wildcats Fall to Wagner, 5-4 in 10 Innings
Feb. 22, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - Junior starting pitcher Pat Young (The Woodlands, Texas) allowed just one earned run over six strong innings but Villanova (0-3) lost to Wagner (1-0) by a final score of 5-4 in 10 innings at Doak Field on Friday afternoon. In their season opener the Seahawks scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 4-4 and then added a run with two outs in the top of the 10th to take their only lead of the game.
The game-winning run that Wagner scored in the 10th inning was unearned and the Seahawks took advantage of four errors committed by the Wildcats in the game. Two of those errors came in the 10th inning and a single up the middle by Ben Ruta with two outs and two on in the inning plated the go-ahead run.
Villanova started the game off strong with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and led the entire way until yielding the two tying runs in the top of the ninth inning. Three straight singles to begin that frame for the Seahawks brought in one run and Ian Miller hit a sacrifice fly with one out to tie the game.
Young scattered seven singles and one run over six innings while walking none and striking out one. He has issued just one walk in 11 1/3 innings over his first two starts of the season and left the game with a lead for the second straight outing. He has thrown just under 70 percent of his pitches for strikes in those two games.
Senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) and junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) combined for five hits and three runs scored to lead the Wildcats offensively. After the two runs in the first inning Villanova scored single runs in the third and fifth innings but was then held to no runs on two hits after going up 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
Anthony Battaglia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the ninth and 10th to earn the victory.
Jones hit his third double in the last two games with one out in the bottom of the first inning and Sciacca followed with a triple to the left-center field gap to open the scoring. Senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) followed with his first of two sacrifice flies in the game and the Wildcats had a 2-0 advantage.
Wagner got on the board in the third inning when Miller singled with two outs and nobody on, stole second and scored on a single by Chase Gray to cut the Villanova lead in half. Miller was a productive leadoff hitter for the Seahawks with two hits, two stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI in the game.
In the bottom of the third inning the Wildcats immediately got the run back when senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) was hit by a pitch ahead of a single by Jones and an error that allowed Sciacca to reach safely. Schrenk hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to score Rambaud but Villanova could get nothing further out of the inning. Jones was caught stealing third for the second out and a popup in the infield ended the inning.
The bases were again loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Wildcats but, similar to two innings earlier, Villanova came away with just one run. Jones was hit by a pitch to start the inning, Sciacca singled and Schrenk followed with a bunt base hit to load the bases. Freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to force in a run but Wagner reliever Paul Mammino used two strikeouts and a fly out to escape the jam without any more trouble.
All of the Villanova offense came from the top of the lineup. The first four hitters in the batting order - Rambaud, Jones, Sciacca and Schrenk - combined to go 7-for-13 with four runs scored, three runs batted in and two walks. The rest of the lineup went 0-for-19 with four walks. Sciacca finished the day 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Jones was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
In the top of the ninth inning the Wildcats were in trouble after three singles and a sacrifice bunt moved the eventual tying run to third base and the potential go-ahead run to second with only one out. Senior left-hander Matt Longfield (Miami, Fla.) entered the game at that point and contained the damage with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout to end the inning.
Longfield (0-1, 0.00 ERA) started the 10th inning but departed after Jayson Keel reached on an error to begin the inning. Keel stole second to move into scoring position but sophomore reliever JB Kole (Basking Ridge, N.J.) retired the next two batters and Villanova would have been out of the inning if not for the error. Kole then surrendered a single up the middle to Ruta on a 1-2 pitch and Keel scored the eventual winning run.
Seahawks starting pitcher Connor Smith was chased by the Wildcats in the fourth inning after allowing three hits, three walks and three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Mammino replaced him and struck out five while allowing just one run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings to allow Wagner a chance to rally.