March 4, 2007
PALM BEACH, Fla. - For the second straight day, Villanova (5-4) had its offense in top form in the early innings, and the Wildcats went on to defeat Maine (1-1) 7-5 at the Santaluces Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats got two runs in the first inning when Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) scored from second on an errant pickoff throw and Jim Gillin (Broomall, Pa.) doubled home a run. In the second inning, Tim Poydenis (Vero Beach, Fla.) started a three-run rally when he was hit by a pitch with one out. Ryan Arcadia (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) had an RBI single and Derek Shunk (Yardley, Pa.) drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single.
With the offense continuing to set the tone, Villanova starting pitcher Bill Hoffman (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) demonstrated his ability to work out of tight spots in the early innings. Hoffman stranded two runners in the first inning and then navigated through a bases-loaded, none out jam in the second with just one run scoring on a sacrifice fly. He worked deep into counts before registering the first and third outs of the inning with swinging strikeouts.
Hoffman held the Black Bears off the scoreboard over the next three innings and earned his first win of the season. He wound up striking out a career-high seven batters while scattering eight hits and three walks. Maine stranded nine runners on base in Hoffman's five innings of work.
The Black Bears drew closer with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh inning, as a run scored on a double play ahead of a Kevin McAvoy RBI single. In the eighth inning, Bobby Brown led off with a double and scored on an error two batters later. Curt Smith singled later in the inning to bring home Danny Menendez, but Brian Streilein (Staten Island, N.Y.) induced a pop-up to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning to provide a cushion against the Maine rally. McFolling led off the inning with his third walk of the game and scored on an RBI groundout by Dan Terpak (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Shunk had a sacrifice bunt in the inning before a walk to Gillin and a single by James Dolbier (Lebanon, N.J.).
Maine starting pitcher Mike Powers was chased with one out in the second inning after allowing three hits and five runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings. He issued four walks and struck out one before three relievers went the rest of the way for the Black Bears.
Junior Gus Guida (Martinsville, N.J.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts for his second save of the season.
Arcadia and Dolbier had two hits apiece for Villanova, while Shunk extended his hitting streak to six games with his single in the second inning. The Wildcats had seven hits in the game but reached base eight other times via a walk or hit batsman.
Maine totaled 13 hits in the game but stranded 11 runners on base. The Black Bears were 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and went 0-for-3 with the bases loaded.
Villanova is off Monday and returns to action against Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.