March 10, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Junior lefthander Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.) once again looked sharp hitting his spots and Villanova (5-6) won its home opener 9-2 over Bloomsburg (8-7) on Tuesday afternoon at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. Crimmel (1-1, 5.14 ERA) and two other pitchers scattered just seven hits while striking out 10 and the offense supported their hurlers with 11 hits of their own.
The Wildcats scored two runs in both the second and third innings and were in control the rest of the way. Crimmel exited on a pitch count after four innings, during which he allowed just three hits and an earned run with no walks and five strikeouts. Freshman Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) entered in the fifth inning and produced the same exact line as his predecessor, going four innings and striking out five in his longest collegiate outing of the young season.
Sophomore Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) walked twice, doubled and scored three runs and redshirt freshman Matt Szczur (Erma, N.J.) extended his hitting streak to nine games with two hits, one run scored and one driven in.
After senior Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) doubled home the game's first two runs in the bottom of the second inning, Szczur reached on a one-out infield single in the third to start another rally. Szczur stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Villanova eventually drew four straight two-out walks in the frame, including a bases-loaded free pass to senior Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, N.J.) that forced home the second run.
Fly balls carried better than expected on a cold day at the stadium and Nick Ferdinand led off the fourth inning with a home run to left field off of Crimmel. The Wildcats recovered quickly though, as Crimmel responded with a live drive to short and two strikeouts to end the inning. Neither he nor Battipaglia allowed more than one base runner in any of the innings they worked.
Leadoff man Tony Donofry singled off of Battipaglia to open the sixth inning and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly after advancing around the bases on a steal of second and another fly out that brought him to third.
Donofry and Ferdinand, hitting 1-2 in the Huskies lineup, each had two hits and a run scored for Bloomsburg. The rest of the team's hitters were a combined 3-for-23 however. Freshman Tom Tesauro (Lawrenceville, N.J.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second straight appearance to end the game.
Starting pitcher Chris Carter took the loss for the Huskies, going 2 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on three hits, with five walks and one strikeout. Four of the walks came in the third inning.
Senior Kyle Carver (Aldan, Pa.) was 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI for Villanova. Each of the team's starters reached base safely at least once. The Wildcats made several substitutions late in the game and freshman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) singled as a pinch hitter for his first collegiate hit. Fellow freshman Cuyler Esposito (Marietta, Ga.) improved to 3-for-5 at the plate coming off the bench for the team.
Villanova is scheduled to be back in action at home on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. against University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP).