March 18, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA. - Adrian Schau singled in Danny Poydenis with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning and three Wildcat pitchers combined to strikeout 16 batters as Villanova rallied from a two-run deficit to defeat Saint Joseph's 3-2 on Tuesday, March 18, at Drexel Field in Philadelphia. The win was the third straight for the Wildcats, who improved to 4-8-0 on the season. The Hawks fell to 1-9-0 on the year with the loss.
After striking out the first two batters to begin the top of the second inning, freshman leftfielder Jake Wolff walked four consecutive Saint Joseph's batters to plate the Hawk's first run of the contest. One batter later, centerfielder Kevin Dougher reached on an infield single to score Nick Baldesari and extend the Saint Joseph's lead to 2-0.
Villanova senior right-hander John Yeager came on in the fourth inning in relief of Wolff, who struck out seven through the first three innings. In his first time back on the mound since undergoing an appendectomy in late February, Yeager didn't skip a beat. He pitched his way out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings and went on to strike out six in four shutout innings of work.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Dustin Downs got the Wildcat rally started with a pinch-hit infield single. Senior centerfielder Chris Graziano followed with an RBI double to the wall in left field to score Downs and cut the Hawk lead to 2-1. After a Poydenis single that moved Graziano to third base, senior leftfielder Brian Newbold came to the plate and tied the game with an infield single to third. With a runner at third base and two outs, Schau singled up the middle to score Poydenis with the eventual game-winner.
With darkness quickly approaching, junior Dan Farino came on to try to close the door on Saint Joseph's in the top of the eighth and final inning. After a bunt single to begin the inning, Farino struck out two straight batters. With runners on first and second and two outs, Farino struck out Dougher swinging to end the game.
Yeager got the win on the mound for the Wildcats to improve to 1-1. In four scoreless innings of work, he allowed just three hits and two walks, while striking out six. Farino picked up the save after pitching a scoreless eighth.
Villanova will get back into action on Thursday, March 20, traveling to La Salle to face the Explorers at 3:00 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, but was recently changed to La Salle.