March 15, 1998
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova baseball team spent Spring break in Florida opening the 1998 season. On the seven day trip that began Feb. 28 and concluded on Mar. 7, the Wildcats posted a 4-3 record. Villanova registered wins over Florida International (9-4, 6-3), Pace University (11-7) and LaSalle University (10-1), while their losses came to Florida Atlantic (9-4), Eastern Michigan (6-5) and LaSalle (10-4)
Villanova's two biggest victories of the trip came on March 3 and 4 with back-to-back victories over Florida International. In the first game against the Golden Panthers, junior Dan Boublis pitched 6.2 innings of strong baseball, giving up five hits and just two runs to gain the win. Freshman Aaron Krawiec came on in relief to pitch the final 2.1 innings to record the first save of his Wildcat career. Offensively, junior Mike Perate led the charge by going three-for-five with a home run and two runs scored, while Boublis and freshman Nick Piantek each added two hits. Senior Rick Welsh smacked a home run for the Cats.
Trailing 3-1 against Florida International on March 4, Villanova rallied for five runs in the ninth to win the game, 6-3. The ninth inning comeback was highlighted by freshman Dan Glover's bases loaded double that drove in two Wildcat runs. On the hill, sophomore Brian Manning hurled four innings of relief to earn his first collegiate win. In his four innings of work, Manning gave up one run on four hits, while striking out five.
Boublis had a strong trip for head coach George Bennett and the
Wildcats as he went six-for-15 from the plate for a .400 average to go with
six runs, two doubles and a home run. On the mound,
Boublis was 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA. Perate hit. 308 on the trip with Welsh
batting .296 with seven RBI
and two home runs. Piantek had a nice start to his collegiate career with
a team-best 10 RBI to go
with three doubles and one home run.