Harris Makes Terrific Start for Wildcats Despite 2-1 Loss at No. 6 Florida State
March 3, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Sophomore left-handed pitcher Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.) made his second consecutive strong start and allowed just one earned run over seven innings at No. 6 Florida State (10-0) at Dick Howser Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Villanova (1-6) played by far its best all-around game of the weekend in a narrow 2-1 loss to the Seminoles which was not decided until Florida State escaped a rally attempt by the Wildcats in the top of the ninth inning.
Villanova trailed 2-0 heading to the ninth inning but loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a hit batter. Junior catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) hit a sacrifice fly to score a run and the Wildcats still had the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base when Seminoles closer Jameis Winston recorded a strikeout to preserve the narrowest of victories.
After allowing 31 hits to Florida State in the first two games of the series Villanova held the Seminoles in check for nearly the entire game on Sunday afternoon. Harris (1-1, 2.08 ERA) and junior reliever Chris Haggarty (Valley Stream, N.Y.) combined on a six-hitter and Florida State had more than one runner on base just twice in their eight innings at the plate.
Harris faced just five batters over the minimum through seven innings, striking out two and giving up six hits while not walking a batter. In his first two starts of the season Harris has allowed just three earned runs in 13.0 innings while issuing just one walk and striking out nine. He retired seven of the final eight Seminoles batters he faced.
Florida State scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to build a 2-0 lead that was just enough offense for starting pitcher Peter Miller (2-0, 1.32 ERA) and two relievers. Seminoles shortstop Giovanny Alfonszo scored an unearned run on a balk in the third inning and John Sansone hit an RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning to account for the only other Florida State run.
Four different batters had one hit apiece for the Wildcats, who also drew seven walks. Cialone went 1-for-2 with a double off the fence in left-center field, two walks and the ninth inning sacrifice fly and senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) walked and also had a hard-hit double down the left field line. Sophomore first baseman Brandon Carr (Danville, Calif.) singled, walked twice and laid down a sacrifice bunt while sophomore third baseman B.J. Bochicchio (Moosic, Pa.) had the other Villanova hit.
With the three-game series in Tallahassee complete the Wildcats will head further south to Port Charlotte for two more games during their Spring Break trip. Following an off day on Monday, Villanova will play Valparaiso on Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m. and Northeastern on Wednesday at 11 a.m.