Big Eighth Inning Costs Wildcats in 7-3 Loss to Temple
March 8, 2014
MERION STATION, Pa. - After rallying to tie the game in the middle innings Villanova (3-10) allowed four runs in the top of the eighth and fell to Temple (3-7) by a final score of 7-3 at Smithson Field on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) had three hits and two runs scored for the Wildcats, who played single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings.
Villanova trailed 2-0 and 3-1 early on but eventually tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The tie lasted until the top of the eighth, when the Owls strung together four hits and batted around while retaking the lead for good.
Daniel Dragos singled with one out in the top of the eighth and Derek Peterson followed with a run-scoring double to give Temple a 4-3 lead. Robert Amaro singled against junior reliever Matt Lengel (Devon, Pa.) and Michael D'Acunti hit a sacrifice fly which accounted for both the second run and the second out of the inning. Three batters later the Owls put the game out of reach on David Hall's two-run single.
In the bottom of the second inning the Wildcats manufactured a run after there were two outs and nobody on to pull to within 2-1. Senior catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) and sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) were consecutively hit by pitches, then freshman right fielder Donovan May (Newark, Del.) and sophomore left fielder Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) each beat out infield hits.
Temple extended its lead to 3-1 with a run in the top of the fourth inning but Villanova got the run back in the bottom half. Beermann opened the home half of the fourth inning with a double to right center, moved to third on a groundout by Cialone and scored when May was safe at first on a throwing error.
Beermann jumpstarted another rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when he doubled down the left field line with one out. Cialone advanced him to third on another productive groundout and Lowe singled to center to drive in the tying run against Owls reliever Connor Stasky.
Junior starting pitcher Max Almonte (Long Beach, N.Y.) allowed single runs in each of the first two innings before settling in nicely. He wound up going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out two. Almonte departed with two outs and two on in the top of the sixth inning and freshman Donovan Armas (Bellerose Village, N.Y.) picked off a runner at second to end the inning.
Lengel (0-1, 6.75 ERA) pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning thanks in part to his eighth career pickoff and first this season. He retired the first two batters he faced on a pop up and a strikeout before Josh Mason singled to right-center with two away. Mason's hit only briefly extended the inning, as Lengel picked him off first.
Zach Batchelor (1-0, 0.00 ERA) recorded five outs in the seventh and eighth innings to earn the win for the Owls.
Villanova wraps up the weekend at 10:45 on Sunday morning when it faces Niagara.