March 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Despite scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead for the second time in the game Villanova (5-13) came up short in a 12-5 loss to Penn (9-6), as the host Quakers scored nine runs in their final three turns at the plate at Meiklejohn Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Penn answered the Wildcats three-run rally with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning and held the lead the rest of the way.
Freshman designated hitter Luke Emling (Nottingham, Pa.) led Villanova offensively with his second straight three-hit game. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs batted in, while senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) was 2-for-4 with a walk, run scored and two stolen bases. It is the third time this season that Rambaud has stolen two bases in a game and he leads the team with seven steals for the year.
Single runs in the top of the second and third innings established a 2-0 lead for the Wildcats but Quakers designated hitter Joey Greco his the first of two home runs in the game with two outs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the score at 2-2. Penn added another run in the home half of the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead, which lasted until Villanova batted in the top of the sixth and went back in front by a 5-3 margin.
Freshman first baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) walked to lead off the sixth inning and the Wildcats eventually loaded the bases with nobody out after Rambaud singled up the middle and freshman second baseman Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) was hit by a pitch. Villanova scored its three runs in the inning on an RBI groundout by sophomore pinch hitter Brandon Carr (Danville, Calif.) and a two-run single by Emling, who has gone 6-for-9 at the plate in his first two collegiate starts.
In the bottom of the sixth inning junior reliever Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) struck out two of the first three batters in the inning but Penn extended the inning and scored all five of its runs with two outs. A single and a walk loaded the bases and - following a pitching change - another walk forced home a run to pull the Quakers to within 5-4. Greco was up next and he hit the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for a game-changing grand slam.
Seven of the nine starters in the Wildcats lineup reached base safely via a hit or a walk in the game. Villanova had nine hits, drew seven walks and was hit by a pitch three times but stranded 14 runners on base and was limited to going 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) singled and walked to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 13 straight games, one off matching Rambaud for the team's longest streak of the season.
Meurer (1-5, 7.08 ERA) departed the game with the bases loaded and the Wildcats leading 5-4 but was charged with the loss after all three inherited runners scored. Penn had 18 hits, all of which came from seven players who each had multi-hit games.
Villanova hosts Cornell for a three-game series this weekend. The series opener is on Friday afternoon at 3:15 p.m., with the final two games set for Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
NOTES: Schrenk is hitting .283 with a .400 on-base percentage and a team-high eight walks during his 13-game streak of reaching base safely ... Freshman infielder Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) had a pinch-hit single to left field in the top of the seventh inning for his first career hit ... Neither team committed an error in the game, the first time that has happened this season ... It was the third consecutive game in which the Wildcats did not commit an error ... Villanova has a team fielding percentage of .961 for the season, though that mark rises to .980 over the past 13 games.