March 4, 2012
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Another strong performance on both sides of the ball propelled Villanova (5-3) to its fifth consecutive victory and the Wildcats beat Northwestern, 6-3, in the Snowbird Baseball Classic at South County Regional Park on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore starting pitcher Pat Young (The Woodlands, Texas) was in complete control through seven innings in pitching Villanova to the win.
The middle innings turned the game in favor of the Wildcats, who scored twice in the top of the fourth inning and three more times in the fifth to build a 5-0 lead. Junior designated hitter Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) singled with one out in the top of the fourth and sophomore catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) followed with a sacrifice fly to give Villanova the lead.
Schrenk was 3-for-5 on the day and five different Wildcats batters had multi-hit games on a 13-hit afternoon. Senior third baseman Kevin Wager (Holden, Mo.) had two hits and two runs batted in and junior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
In the top of the fifth inning Rambaud led off with a single and moved up to second on one of two sacrifice bunts in the game by senior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.). Wager doubled in Rambaud with one out, sophomore right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) added a two-out double to bring in Wager and junior second baseman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) delivered a run-scoring single to cap the three-run rally.
Northwestern got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jack Havey led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Young threw 92 pitches over seven innings and just three of them led to runs being scored. He carried a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, when Paul Snieder and Havey led off with back-to-back solo home runs to narrow the deficit to 5-3. Nick Linne reached on an infield hit with one away but Young finished his day on a strong note by inducing a ground ball double play to end the inning.
Double plays were a key factor in the win, as Young generated three double plays in his seven innings and Villanova turned four overall in the game. Senior reliever Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) pitched two hitless innings to earn the save, including getting Havey to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Before all was said and done the Wildcats added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning when Rambaud was hit by a pitch, Calbi laid down a sacrifice bunt and Wager singled to drive in Rambaud with the final run of the game.
Starting pitcher Luke Farell (0-2) took the loss for Northwestern, although he allowed just three hits and two earned runs in four innings of work. Farrell trailed 2-0 when he came out of the game but the bullpen surrendered four more runs over the final five innings to create an insurmountable deficit.