Offense Breaks Out as Wildcats Down Quinnipiac, 9-3
Feb. 23, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. - Freshmen second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) and freshman designated hitter Brian Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y.) had three hits apiece and Villanova (1-4) scored five times in the first three innings of a 9-3 win over Quinnipiac (0-1) at Marty L. Miller Field on Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day the Wildcats fell to Buffalo, 4-2, in their first game at this weekend's Spartan Baseball Classic. Tomorrow in the tournament finale Villanova takes on host Norfolk State, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.
Czinege doubled twice and drove in a run and Trabulsi scored twice in the Wildcats first win of the season. Villanova counted six doubles and a triple among its 15 hits and also drew six walks and two hit batters for good measure. Redshirt freshman left fielder Mike Mecca (Ridgefield, N.J.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored and reached base two other times via a walk and a hit by pitch.
Senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) also had two hits, while sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) each drove in two runs. After the Bobcats trimmed a 5-0 lead to 5-2 on a two-out double in the top half of the fifth inning, the Wildcats plated three more runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach.
The offensive output supported junior starting pitcher Max Almonte (Long Beach, N.Y.), who went six innings in his second straight quality start to pick up the win. Almonte (1-0, 2.08 ERA) scattered five hits and two earned runs while walking four and striking out two. Senior reliever Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) allowed a run on two hits over the final three innings. He struck out three and picked up the save.
Mecca beat out an infield hit to start the bottom of the first inning and Jones singled to right with one out in the frame. A fielder's choice groundout by Beermann allowed Mecca to score and Beermann later came home from third when Czinege was caught stealing and thrown out in a rundown between first and second.
In the bottom of the second inning a double by Trabulsi set up a sacrifice fly by Lowe and freshman right fielder Donovan May (Newark, Del.) added an RBI single. Czinege doubled to drive in Jones in the third inning to extend the Villanova lead to 5-0.
The three-run fifth inning got off to a fast start when Jones tripled to center field and Beermann followed with an RBI double three pitches later. Senior catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) doubled home another run with one out in the inning and Lowe added a run-scoring groundout. The final Wildcats run scored in the seventh inning when sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) walked with the bases loaded. Trabulsi singled to right-center with one out in the seventh and both May and Mecca were hit by pitches to load the bases for Jewitt.
In the top of the fifth inning Matthew Oestreicher singled with one out and Mike Palladino walked with two away. After the runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch Matthew Batten hit a 1-2 pitch from Almonte to center field for a two-run double. Quinnipiac got its final run against Meurer in the top of the eighth inning on Rob Pescitelli's triple down the right field line.
Bobcats starting pitcher Thomas Jankins (0-1, 11.25 ERA) was charged with eight hits and five earned runs allowed over four innings of work. He walked three and struck out two.