March 1, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. - Villanova (3-4) had three different players walk three times each, senior designated hitter Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) and junior left fielder Andrew Geenen (Portola Valley, Calif.) both hit home runs and the Wildcats defeated North Carolina Central (0-8) by a final score of 11-4 in a game called off after seven innings due to rain at Durham Athletic Park on Monday afternoon.
Villanova scored runs in six of seven innings, including nine runs from the fourth inning on, and snapped a three-game losing streak on a day when it received contributions from all over the lineup. The team drew 12 walks for the day and added to its offense with three extra-base hits and three stolen bases.
Two runs in the top of the fourth inning broke a 2-2 tie and put the Wildcats in front for good at 4-2 before the team gradually built its lead to an insurmountable point. Hall hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, Geenen went deep leading off the sixth and the two players were joined by freshman second baseman Michael Erb (Camarillo, Calif.) in having multi-hit games.
The burst of offense supported junior right-hander Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.), who went five innings and allowed just one earned run in his first collegiate start. A reliever by trade, Battipaglia (1-0, 4.50 ERA) walked two and struck out four while allowing four hits in his start. Junior reliever Julian Diaz (Trenton, N.J.) eventually threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to close out the game before the rains came.
In the top of the first inning, senior third baseman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) walked with one out and eventually scored on a single by Erb with two outs. Freshman catcher Dan Jaffe (Las Vegas, Nev.) walked leading off the second inning and scored on a double play ball later in the frame.
Those runs were each responded to by the Eagles, who scored once in the bottom of the first and again in the home half of the third inning to tie the score at 1-1 and 2-2, respectively. Nate Smith drove in both of those runs with an RBI single and a run-scoring groundout.
North Carolina Central starting pitcher Douglas Dalley (0-2, 12.91 ERA) walked two batters in each of the first three innings and then issued two more free passes before coming out with two outs in the top of the fourth. The two bases on balls in the fourth inning, plus two wild pitches and an infield throwing error in the inning led to the tow runs that put Villanova in front to stay.
With two runs already home in the fourth inning Dalley walked Geenen for the third straight time and left in place of Glenn Frye, who worked the final 3 1/3 innings. Geenen added to his home run with a two-run single in the top of the seventh to finish with three RBI, while he and Erb were each 2-for-2 with three walks.
Koczirka also drew three walks and junior center fielder Jordan Zech (Naples, Fla.) had a single, two walks and three runs scored in the game.
Coming up on Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. the Wildcats will play North Carolina A&T at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C.