March 14, 2004
PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA. - Junior catcher Kelly Pickel singled in Brian Newbold with the game-winning run as the Villanova baseball team rallied from a one-run 11th inning deficit to defeat the Cornell Big Red, 8-7 (in 11 innings), on Sunday, March 14th, at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. The Wildcats improved to 12-5 overall on the season with Sunday's win, and won the season series against Cornell taking two out of three games. The Big Red fell to 3-3 on the year with the loss.
The game went scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when a Kris Molloy RBI gave Villanova the early 1-0 advantage.
Two innings later, the Wildcats added to their lead by scoring twice more off of Cornell starter Luke Staskal. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, Staskal balked to force in Angelo Petracca and increase the Villanova advantage to 2-0. Newbold followed with a groundball to third which Big Red third baseman Dan Parant misplayed allowing rightfielder Alan Day to score and give the `Cats a 3-0 lead after five full innings.
Villanova starter Nick Allen blanked the Big Red through the first six innings of the game allowing just three hits. In the top of the seventh inning, Cornell finally got on the scoreboard against Allen and the Wildcats. With two outs in the inning, rightfielder Kaleb Hitchinson singled up the middle and scored one batter later on a RBI double by centerfielder Jon Finch to cut the Villanova lead to 3-1.
In the top of the eighth inning, Allen walked the leadoff batter and was relieved by Wildcat left-hander Mike Ciccotelli. The Big Red rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the inning, getting a two-run single by first baseman William Pauly with two outs.
Villanova appeared to seal the win in the bottom of the eighth inning with two runs off of Big Red reliever Blake Hamilton to reclaim the lead at 5-3. Molloy had an RBI double in the inning, while Day posted an RBI single.
Wildcat closer Adian Schau entered in the ninth inning looking to close out the game for the `Cats. Helped in part by a Petracca error, Cornell rallied to tie the game once again by scoring two unearned runs in the inning. Shortstop Matt Miller had the game-tying hit, lining an RBI single through the left side to knot the game at 5-5.
The contest would remain tied at 5-5 until the top of the 11th inning. Big Red second baseman Seth Gordon hammered a one-out double to left-center off of Schau, and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. With runners at the corners, Cornell designated hitter Ned Van Allan lined out to Petracca at third base. Petracca threw to first attempting to double up Miller, but the throw got by Day allowing Gordon to score the go-ahead run to give the Big Red a 6-5 lead.
The Wildcats refused to go down quietly in the bottom of the 11th inning. Day began a Villanova rally with a leadoff double to left-center field. He advanced to third one batter later on a ground ball to second by rightfielder Frank Cirone. The `Cats would score the tying run on a bouncer to short by Newbold which Miller picked up and threw wildly allowing the run to score and Newbold to move up to second base. With the score tied at 6-6 and runners at first and second with two outs, Pickel came to the plate and hit a 3-1 offering by Cornell reliever Conor Kelly into right-center field for the game-winning single. Pickel's RBI single plated Newbold with the game-winning run, giving the Wildcats a 7-6 victory.
Schau (1-1) picked up the win in relief for Villanova, allowing three unearned run on four hits in three innings, striking out three and walking one. Allen pitched well for the Wildcats in a starting role, giving up just two runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking two. Kelly took the loss for Cornell to fall to 1-1 on the season.
At the plate for Villanova, Day went three-for-five with a double, two runs scored and one RBI. In addition, Pickel went one-for-one with the game-winning RBI, Molloy was one-for-five with a double and one RBI, catcher Jim Gillin was two-for-three with a double and a triple, and Schau and second baseman Mark Cardillo each had two hits apiece.
For Cornell offensively, Pauly was two-for-five with a team-high two RBI.
The Wildcats will get back into action on Wednesday, March 17th, traveling to Norristown, Pa., to play the Saint Joseph's Hawks at 3:00 p.m.
Former Villanova Head Baseball Coach Larry Shane threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Wildcats' baseball game against Cornell this afternoon at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.
Shane was head coach of the Villanova baseball program from 1973-85, during which time he helped the Wildcats to a 153-191-3 record. He helped turn a program which was 5-13-0 his first season into a team that recorded back to back 20+ win campaigns in 1980 (21-7) and 1981 (20-12).
After coaching on the Main Line for 13 seasons, Shane remained at Villanova University in numerous administrative roles until retiring in 1998.