March 10, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - A game with three lead changes came down to the final batter but three runs that scored in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference as Villanova (3-9) lost by a count of 6-4 to Central Connecticut (4-3) at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Sunday afternoon.
In the bottom of the ninth inning the Wildcats put two runners on base and brought the potential winning run to the plate with one out but Blue Devils closer Josh Ingham came in from his defensive position at second base and got two outs to preserve the Central Connecticut win.
Senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) hit a two-run triple in the bottom of the third inning and freshman third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) had two hits and a run scored for Villanova, which had the lead after every inning from the second through the sixth.
In the top half of the seventh the Blue Devils loaded the bases with nobody out and all three of those runners scored in a span of six pitches. JP Sportman hit a two-run double to right-center field and cleanup hitter Tyler McIntyre fought off a 2-2 pitch to ground into a fielder's choice to score the third run of the inning.
Those runs gave Central Connecticut a 5-4 lead and the Blue Devils added an insurance run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to close the scoring. Central Connecticut had 11 hits and walked seven times in beating the Wildcats for the second straight year.
In the bottom of the ninth inning senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) bunted for a single and pinch hitter John Cialone (Houston, Texas) drew a walk to put the potential tying runs on base. Ingham, who started the game at second base and had two hits, took the mound and allowed a hard hit fly ball to Sciacca that could have been trouble on a warmer day when the ball was carrying better to left field. Instead the fly ball was the second out of the inning and Ingham then induced a pop-up in foul territory to end the game.
Sciacca had come up big earlier in the game as Villanova scored twice in the bottom of the third after giving up the lead to the Blue Devils in the top half of the inning. Jewitt doubled to right-center field leading off the bottom of the third and one batter later freshman second baseman Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) drew a walk. Sciacca hit a 2-1 pitch halfway up the fence in straightaway center field and made it all the way around to third for his second triple of the season.
In the top of the third inning McIntyre had a sacrifice fly and Ryan Beal hit a two-out RBI single which gave Central Connecticut a 2-1 lead right after the Wildcats had gone ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by senior catcher Brandon Clark (Spring, Texas).
Villanova avoided further trouble in the third inning however, as senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) threw out Dominic Severino at the plate when he tried to score a second run on Beal's single. Schrenk made an accurate throw to Jewitt, whose relay to Clark was similarly on the money.
The same exact scene transpired the next inning as well, as Ingham tried to score from second on a single to left by leadoff hitter Anthony Turgeon, only to have the Wildcats record another 7-5-2 putout. Schrenk has three outfield assists this season and today's game marked the first time in his career he has had two assists in a game.
Senior starting pitcher Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) allowed two runs over five innings in his second start of the season. He got better as he went along and retired five of the last seven batters he faced, including retiring the side in order in the top of the fifth inning when Villanova still led by just a single run. Ostapeck scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out four in his outing.
Goss scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the Wildcats lead to 4-2, a margin which held up until the decisive Blue Devils rally in the top of the seventh.
Central Connecticut reliever Brendyn Karinchak (1-1, 0.00 ERA) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win for the Blue Devils, while Villanova junior reliever Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) took the loss.
Next up for the Wildcats is a Tuesday afternoon game at Saint Joseph's, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.