March 24, 2007
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Junior Dan Terpak (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) doubled to lead off the ninth inning and scored the winning run two batters later as Villanova (9-6, 1-0 Big East) captured the first game of a doubleheader with a 1-0 win over Louisville (14-8, 0-1 Big East) on Saturday at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.
The heroics in the bottom of the ninth supported a four-hit shutout pitched by senior Mike Loree (Gillette, N.J.), who improved to 4-0 with the first complete game shutout of his career. Loree (4-0, 1.72 ERA) allowed just four hits and struck out one in his outing, during which he threw better than 60 percent of his pitches for strikes. Loree kept the top hitting team in the BIG EAST off-balance and off the scoreboard to lift the Wildcats to a win in their conference opener.
With Terpak in scoring position and nobody out, senior Jim Gillin (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and was then safe at first when the Cardinals threw the ball away, allowing Terpak to score the winning run.
Each team had just four hits in the game and Terpak was the only runner to advance past second base in the entire game. Louisville starting pitcher Zack Pitts pitched seven scoreless innings with a career-high nine strikeouts. He allowed just four balls out of the infield and did not surrender a hit until Gillin's two-out single in the fourth inning.
By that point, Loree was in complete control, as he allowed just two singles after the third inning. In the top of the ninth inning the Cardinals had the heart of the order due up. Daniel Burton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second with one out. However, Loree induced a fly ball for the second out and - after an intentional walk - another fly ball ended the inning.
Villanova was returning to action for the first time in 11 days due to cancellations based on inclement weather and poor playing conditions. The Wildcats also were playing their first game of the season at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth after playing two "home" games at La Salle's Hank DeVincent Field earlier in the month.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Louisville defeated the Wildcats 11-2. The rubber game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at Noon.