March 18, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) drove in the eventual winning run with one out in the top of the seventh inning and the relief tandem of juniors JB Kole (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Matt Lengel (Devon, Pa.) combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen as Villanova (6-12) came away with a 6-3 victory over La Salle (3-16) at Hank DeVincent Field on Tuesday afternoon.
Beermann snapped a 3-3 tie when his double to left field drove in sophomore left fielder Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas), who opened the seventh inning with a triple down the right field line. With two outs in the inning freshman third baseman Brian Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y.) reached on an error and Beermann scored from second to extend the Wildcats second lead of the game to 5-3. Sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) reached on an error to start the eighth inning and later scored on another fielding miscue by the Explorers to account for the final Villanova run of the day.
At the beginning of the contest the Wildcats needed just one hit to score three runs in the top of the first inning and jump out to an early 3-0 lead. La Salle got two of those runs back in the bottom of the first and tied the score at 3-3 with one out in the bottom of the third inning. The teams remained tied until Villanova went back on top for good with its seventh inning rally.
Kole (1-2, 7.63 ERA) entered the game with a runner at second and one out in the third inning after the Explorers had already tied the score. He struck out the first batter he faced then, after allowing a single up the middle that moved the potential go-ahead run to third, registered another strikeout to escape the inning with the game still tied. Kole wound up allowing three hits and a walk while striking out four in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
After taking the lead in the top of the seventh inning the Wildcats turned to Lengel in the bottom half and he easily went the distance for his first save this season and the second of his career. Lengel allowed just a hit and a walk while striking out three. Over the past two games Villanova has received 13 1/3 innings from its bullpen with just one run allowed (0.68 ERA).
In the top of the first inning sophomore designated hitter Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) walked with one out and both Beermann and senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) followed with free passes to load the bases. That brought freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) to the plate and he lined a two-run double to left field to put the Wildcats ahead 2-0. Senior catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) hit a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the lead to a 3-0 advantage.
Czinege went 3-for-5 in the game and accounted for three of the five Villanova hits in the contest. The only other hits besides his were the triple and double by Goss and Beermann in the top of the seventh inning but the Wildcats still found their offense thanks to drawing eight walks and also taking advantage of the three Explorers fielding errors.
Senior Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.), a fixture at the back end of the bullpen for Villanova, made his first career start and was charged with four hits and three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. Haggarty allowed a two-run home run to Mark Williams over the short fence in left field in the first inning and after that the only damage against him was an RBI double by George Smith, Jr. in the bottom of the third. Haggarty had four strikeouts in his outing and has fanned 12 batters in 11.0 innings on the season.
La Salle starting pitcher Jorge Jimenez lasted just one-third of an inning and walked four of the six batters he faced in the top of the first inning. Tom Fazzini (0-1, 10.80 ERA) was the fourth of six Explorers relievers and took the loss after allowing the two runs (one earned) in the top of the seventh inning.
On Wednesday afternoon the Wildcats return to action at home when they host Penn for a 3:15 p.m. contest at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. The game is scheduled to be the first home midweek outing of the season r Villanova.