March 10, 2007
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Junior Tim Poydenis (Vero Beach, Fla.) hit a three-run home run in a four-run sixth inning and Villanova (7-5) defeated Iona (2-8) 6-2 on Saturday morning in its home opener. It was a unique opening home game for the Wildcats, as the game was played at Hank DeVincent Field on the campus of La Salle University. The game was moved to La Salle due to unplayable field conditions at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.
In a return to cold weather after playing their previous eight games in Alabama and Florida, the Wildcats got off to a slow start offensively, at least for them. Villanova had made a habit of scoring early in games but trailed 2-0 going to the bottom of the fourth inning. However, Poydenis had a sacrifice fly in the fourth and another run scored on an error made on a fielder's choice to tie the game 2-2.
Villanova took control of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four runs on four extra-base hits. Dan Terpak (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) led off with a long triple to center field and one batter later Poydenis hit his first home run in a Wildcat uniform. Ryan Arcadia (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) tripled and scored on a wild pitch to cap the inning, while Derek Shunk (Yardley, Pa.) also had a triple in the inning.
After allowing eight hits through the first five innings, senior starting pitcher Mike Loree (Gillette, N.J.) shut down the visiting Gaels, retiring the final seven batters he faced. Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.) pitched two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth to close out the game. Loree improved to 3-0 with the win, allowing the eight hits and two earned runs in his outing. He walked one and struck out three, with all the strikeouts coming in the first inning.
Iona got a run in the first inning when Andrew Wernicki struck out with runners at the corners. The runner at first was in motion on the pitch and Joe Lorenzo scored from third on the throw down to second. The Gaels increased the lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Andrew Passerelle singled home Allie Abbatiello, who had doubled to start the inning.
Villanova totaled 11 hits on the day, posting double-digits for the third straight game and seventh time this season. Arcadia, Shunk and Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) each had two hits in the game, while Terpak was 1-for-3 and scored two runs.
Nick Stanziani took the loss for the Gaels, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five-plus innings of work. He was lifted in the sixth inning after the home run by Poydenis. Abbatiello had two hits for Iona.
Villanova returns to Hank DeVincent Field on Sunday morning and will play Cornell at 9:30 a.m. That game is in place of the scheduled game at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth which would have begun at Noon.
NOTES: Shunk extended his hitting streak to nine games by going 2-for-4 ... Arcadia, Rosati and James Dolbier (Lebanon, N.J.) all extended their hitting streaks to seven games.