March 1, 2014
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Villanova (2-6) rallied from a six-run deficit and scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game but Boston College (6-3) plated an unearned run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning and came away with a 7-6 victory at North Charlotte Regional Park on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) had four hits and drove in two runs for the Wildcats, including an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning which pulled Villanova to within a run and also moved the tying run up to third base with just one out. Freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) had two hits and scored three runs.
After the Eagles scored four times in the top of the first inning to race out to a 4-0 lead they were held to just three runs the rest of the way by Wildcats pitching. That included 7 1/3 innings of terrific relief from the Villanova bullpen, as seven pitchers combined to allow just an unearned run on seven hits while also stranding nine inherited runners.
In the early innings Boston College starting pitcher Andrew Chin retired the first nine batters he faced and the Eagles scored single runs in the top of the third and fourth innings to extend their lead to 6-0. Redshirt freshman right fielder Mike Mecca (Ridgefield, N.J.) was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the fourth inning and later scored the Wildcats first run on a wild pitch. Sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Czinege later in the frame to make the score 6-2.
Villanova added two runs in the seventh inning on consecutive two-out, run-scoring singles by Jewitt and senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) and pulled to within 6-4. In the top of the eighth inning Boston College loaded the bases with two outs but senior reliever Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) entered and got designated hitter Chris Shaw to groundout to second to end the inning and leave the bags full.
Meurer (0-1, 0.96 ERA) wen the rest of the way (3 1/3 innings) for the Wildcats and allowed just three hits and no earned runs while walking one and striking out one. He lowered his ERA for the season to 0.96 and has now allowed just six hits over 9 1/3 innings in his four appearances.
In the bottom of the ninth inning sophomore catcher Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) drew a leadoff walk and Czinege walked with one out to put the tying runs on base. Jewitt greeted Eagles reliever Michael Strem with a double to right-center which scored Morris and moved Czinege up to third. Jones was intentionally walked and junior pinch hitter B.J. Bochicchio (Moosic, Pa.) came up with the bases loaded and one out. Bochicchio faced new pitcher John Nicklas and reached on an error in right field, with Czinege scoring the tying run on the play and each runner moving up a base.
With the bases still loaded Beermann came up and hit a playable fly to shallow right field which wasn't caught, but all three runners had to wait to advance until after the Boston College fielder attempted to make the play. That extra time allowed the Eagles to escape the inning with a 4-8-2-5-3 double play, with outs being recorded at second and third to send the game into extra innings.
Meurer quickly retired Boston College in order in the top of the 10th inning and Villanova threatened in the bottom half when freshman left fielder Donovan May (Newark, Del.) and sophomore shortstop Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. Boston College reliever Bobby Skogsbergh (2-0, 0.00 ERA) escaped the inning with a fielders' choice and a double play and stayed in to retire the side in the bottom of the 11th after the Eagles retook the lead.
Tomorrow morning the Wildcats return to action at 10:30 a.m. to face Central Michigan.
NOTES: Three of the seven relievers used by Villanova were making their Wildcats debuts ... Freshmen Donovan Armas (Bellerose Village, N.Y.) and Woody Bryson (Cambridge, Mass.), in addition to junior Kagan Richardson (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) combined to pitch three scoreless innings ... Boston College leads the all-time series against Villanova by a 44-33 margin ... The teams last met in Palm Beach, Fla. on March 7, 2007 in the Papa John's Challenge, with the Eagles winning 10-9 ... This was just the fourth time in 77 meetings that the teams went to extra innings ... Villanova had won the previous three extra-inning contests, including its first-ever win in the all-time series (6-3 in 11 innings on April 11, 1925) ... The first-ever meeting between the teams was on June 2, 1898.