March 23, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Seven of the 10 hits allowed by Villanova (5-15) in the game came with two outs and the Wildcats lost the second game of a three-game series to Cornell (10-5) by a final score of 4-0 at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. All four runs scored by the Big Red came with two outs and Villanova was held to just three hits of its own in the loss.
Cornell got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second inning and then plated two more in the third inning to put the Wildcats into an early hole. Just one additional run crossed the plate the rest of the day, as the Big Red scored in the top of the fifth inning to close the scoring.
Senior starting pitcher Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) was charged with four earned runs on eight hits in his five innings of work, although most of those hits were on well-placed ground balls through the infield rather than on hard line drives. Ostapeck (0-2, 5.14 ERA) struck out five and did not walk a batter. Sophomore reliever Jeff Courter (Maple Glen, Pa.) threw four scoreless innings in relief of Ostapeck and allowed just two hits while striking out one.
In the top of the second inning there were two outs and nobody on when Kevin Tatum and Ben Swinford had consecutive hits, each coming with two strikes. Tatum doubled to right and Swinford singled to left field to drive in the first run of the game and start a scoring trend for the game.
Tom D'Alessandro doubled over the head of senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) with two outs in the third inning to start a rally. Matt Hall and Spenser Souza each followed with run-scoring singles to extend the Cornell lead.
On the mound Big Red starting pitcher Brian McAfee (1-2, 3.57 ERA) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven in the first six innings, before two relievers combined to retire nine consecutive Villanova batters over the final three frames.
The three hits for the Wildcats came from freshman shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.), senior catcher Brandon Clark (Spring, Texas) and freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.). Clark and Beermann had consecutive singles with two outs in the bottom of the second inning before Villanova was held to only one additional hit the rest of the way.
On Sunday afternoon the teams will play the final game of this weekend's series. Sophomore left-hander Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.) takes the mound for the Wildcats and first pitch is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.