Feb. 27, 2005
NORFOLK, Va. - Villanova (4-1-1) rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth inning and defeated Norfolk State (0-11) 9-5 Sunday afternoon at Marty Miller Field, completing a three-game sweep of the weekend series. The Wildcats outscored the Spartans 22-5 in their three victories.
Villanova trailed 4-1 early in the game, but got within one run on a two-run homerun by freshman shortstop Derek Shunk (Yardley, Pa.) in the fifth inning. Freshman second baseman Ryan Arcadia (Boyertown, Pa.) led off the fifth with a single and scored ahead of Shunk one out later.
The stage was then set for the Wildcats to complete the comeback in the seventh inning. Junior first baseman Jeremy Hunt (Tampa, Fla.) laced a double down the left-field line, and senior second baseman Mark Cardillo (Naples, Fla.) followed with a pinch-hit single to tie the game. After senior outfielder Alan Day (Lake Ridge, Va.) bunted for a hit to advance Cardillo to second, the inning unraveled for the Spartans.
Freshman outfielder James Dolbier (Lebanon, N.J.) laid down a sacrifice bunt, but reached base and went to second via a throwing error. The error allowed pinch-runner Darren Griffith (Edison, N.J.) to score and Day to go to third, and the Wildcats had the lead for good. Junior catcher Jim Gillin (Broomall, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Day, and Dolbier scored on an error with two outs.
Griffith and Dolbier each had run-scoring hits in the ninth inning to pad the lead, and senior closer Mike Grodecki (Northbrook, Ill.) pitched the ninth to seal the victory.
Redshirt junior pitcher Jim Baxter (Point Pleasant, N.J.) pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to record his first win since April 19, 2003. Baxter (1-0, 1.80) allowed three hits and struck out one in relief of starting pitcher Kevin Mulvey (Parlin, N.J.). Mulvey went six innings and allowed four runs, one earned. He surrendered just four hits and struck out eight in his second outing of the season.
Shunk was 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI in the game, while Dolbier and senior third baseman Angelo Petracca (Sanford, Fla.) had two hits apiece. Cardillo's pinch-hit single in the eighth extended his hitting streak to six games. He is the only Wildcat who has had at least one hit in every game this season.
Norfolk State managed nine hits in the game, six more than they had in two games against Villanova in Saturday's doubleheader. Senior pitcher Nick Allen (Green Lane, Pa.) no-hit the Spartans in the first game, and three Wildcat pitchers combined on a three-hitter in the nightcap. Norfolk State's first run of the game, scored with two out in the bottom of the second, ended a 17-inning scoreless streak by Villanova pitchers.
The Wildcats are next in action during their Spring Break trip to Florida. Villanova will play a three-game series against the 12th-ranked Florida Gators next Friday-Sunday, and then play two games in Jacksonville on March 8-9.
NOTES: Villanova outhit Norfolk State 30-12 in the series ... The three Wildcat starters combined to go 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA in the series ... The starting trio of Allen, sophomore Mike Loree (Gillette, N.J.) and Mulvey are 4-0 with a 3.26 ERA in their six starts this season ... Villanova had four stolen bases in Sunday's game, pushing their total to eight in the series and 16 in six games ... Shunk has a team-high four steals ... Villanova is outhitting the opposition .284 to .217 through six games, and has a 3.19 staff ERA, compared with 5.81 by its opponents.