Wildcats Fall to Northeastern, 5-2, in Middle Game of Series
March 22, 2014
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Three runs in the top of the first inning put Villanova (7-13) in an early deficit and Northeastern (8-10) maintained its lead from start to finish in a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. In the middle game of a three-game series Villanova scored its only two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as the visiting Huskies evened the series at one game apiece.
Junior starting pitcher Max Almonte (Long Beach, N.Y.) allowed just two earned runs and pitched into the seventh inning while recording his third quality start of the season. Almonte (1-2, 4.70 ERA) worked fast and pitched effectively to contact against a lineup that was looking to be aggressive early in the count. He wound up scattering six hits while walking two and striking out one.
Northeastern pushed its lead to as much as 4-0 by adding a run in the top of the fourth inning but the Wildcats cut the margin in half with their two runs in the sixth inning. After the Huskies added a run in the top of the seventh Villanova loaded the bases in the bottom half but failed to score and was then held in check over the final two innings.
Sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman right fielder Donovan May (Newark, Del.) had two hits apiece for the Wildcats, who finished with seven hits and seven free passes thanks to a pair of walks and five hit batters. Northeastern withstood the constant pressure of having Villanova runners on base and held the Wildcats to going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Villanova stranded 12 runners in the game.
In the top of the first inning Almonte found immediate trouble when Connor Lyons doubled down the left field line to start the game and Gabe Levanti chopped a ball over first base for an RBI single. With runners at the corners and one out an error allowed Levanti to score an unearned run and Shane Allen followed with a run-scoring groundout to make the score 3-0.
The first real scoring chance for the Wildcats came in the bottom of the second inning after there were two outs and nobody on. May and freshman catcher Zander Retamar (Boca Raton, Fla.) singled and sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Huskies starting pitcher Chris Carmain (3-2, 1.34 ERA) notched one of his seven strikeouts to end the inning.
Freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) walked to start the home half of the sixth inning and sophomore designated hitter Luke Emling (Nottingham, Pa.) singled. May then beat out an infield hit and took second on a throwing error which allowed Czinege score, while an RBI groundout by Lowe brought home Emling with another run.
Almonte allowed a leadoff single to Levanti in the top of the seventh inning and was lifted for junior reliever Kagan Richardson (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), who would eventually go the rest of the way on the mound. Richardson allowed a single to Jason Vosler but Levanti tried to go first to third on the hit and was thrown out for the first out of the inning. With two away and Vosler at third Nick Fanneron's double extended the Northeastern lead to 5-2.
In the bottom of the seventh inning sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) led off with a single through the left side and Beermann greeted left-handed reliever Isaac Lippert by lining a single to left field. Lippert retired the next two batters but hit Emling to load the bases and put the potential tying runs on base. Huskies catcher Josh Treff picked Emling off of first two pitchers later to end the inning.
Carmain allowed six hits and two runs (one earned) in six-plus innings of work and walked one while striking out seven. Aaron Civale pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save. Levanti and Mike Piscopo had two hits apiece to lead Northeastern offensively.
In the series finale on Sunday afternoon freshman lefty Hunter Schryver (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) makes his third start of the year for Villanova, while right-hander Dustin Hunt starts for the Huskies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
NOTES: Beermann and sophomore left fielder Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) each extended their streaks of reaching base safely to 10 straight games ... Beermann also has a five-game hitting streak and raised his season average to .304 with two hits ... The Wildcats bullpen has a 2.61 ERA spanning 31.0 innings over the last seven games.