Wildcats Drop Series Opener at No. 6 Florida State, 23-5
March 1, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) and sophomore third baseman B.J. Bochicchio (Moosic, Pa.) each hit home runs to the same spot in left field but Villanova (1-4) fell by a final score of 23-5 to No. 6 Florida State (8-0) in the opener of a three-game series at Dick Howser Stadium on Friday evening.
Sciacca hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the third inning to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead but the Seminoles took those runs as a wake-up call and got their own offense going shortly after. Florida State scored seven times in the bottom of the third inning to restore its lead at 9-3 and then put the game out of reach with three runs in the fourth inning and five more in the bottom of the fifth.
In the middle innings Villanova showed some of its potential offensively, putting runs on the board in three straight frames from the third through the fifth. Senior catcher Brandon Clark (Spring, Texas) singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning and freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) followed with a double off the top of the center field fall. Freshman second baseman Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) scored Clark with a sacrifice bunt.
Bochicchio led off the fifth inning with a home run that bounced over the padding of the left field fence and carried over for a solo home run. It looked to be nearly the exact spot that Sciacca hit his home run off of two innings earlier. Bochicchio and Clark had two hits apiece for the Wildcats, who struck Seminoles starting pitcher Brandon Leibrandt (3-0, 4.96 ERA) for seven hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Leibrandt walked none and struck out eight in his start but retired Villanova in order just once, in the top of the second inning. He also committed a throwing error on a bunt in the top of the third inning which eventually led to three runs when Sciacca hit the Wildcats first home run of the season later in the inning.
Villanova starting pitcher Pat Young (The Woodlands, Texas) allowed two runs in the bottom of the first inning after an infield error on the first play of the inning helped Florida State start a rally. Young (0-1, 6.43 ERA) allowed consecutive run-scoring singles with still nobody out but then retired three straight to get out of the inning without further damage.
The score was still 2-0 with the game in reach in the bottom of the second inning when Young got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with no runs scoring. He struck out the Seminoles top power threat, Marcus Davis, on a 2-2 pitch and then retired cleanup hitter Stephen McGee on a popup that Sciacca caught in shallow left field.
In the top of the third inning there was a runner at first and one out when senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) hit a ground ball to short and hustled down the line to beat the relay throw to first and stay out of a double play. Bochicchio followed with a single to left field and Sciacca blasted a 1-0 pitch for his third career home run.
The lead proved to be short-lived however, as Young was in immediate trouble in the bottom half of the inning. A four-pitch walk started the inning and two of the next three batters singled to load the bases with one out. Young walked in a run to tie the game at 3-3 and leadoff hitter Josh Delph hit a sacrifice fly to give Florida State a 4-3 lead.
Despite giving up the lead the sacrifice fly by Delph was the second out of the inning and the Wildcats still had a chance to get out of the inning with minimal damage done. Jose Brizuela bunted for an RBI single and the next two batters each singled, while a fielding error and a two-run double opened the floodgates and put the Seminoles in front by a 9-3 margin.
Florida State center fielder Seth Miller went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and three runs batted in for the Seminoles, who had 22 hits. Four different players drove in three runs for Florida State, which scored in every inning except the second.
The second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., with Villanova senior right-hander Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) making his first start of the season against Seminoles right-hander Scott Sitz. Saturday's game, like the series opener, will air live on ESPN3.