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Wildcats Complete Saturday Sweep of UConn

March 27, 2004

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA. - Pitchers Mike Loree and Mike Ciccotelli combined on a six-hit shutout and the Wildcat offense pounded out eight runs on 13 hits as the Villanova baseball team shut out the University of Connecticut, 8-0, in game two of a Saturday doubleheader on March 27th at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. With the win, the Wildcats (16-5, 2-0) completed the Saturday sweep of the Huskies. The `Cats defeated UConn (9-8, 0-2) in game one, winning by the score of 3-1.

Villanova struck first in game two, registering one run in the bottom of the first inning, to claim an early 1-0 advantage. With runners at the corners and one out, designated hitter Danny Poydenis singled through the right side to score centerfielder Kris Molloy with the Wildcats' first run of the game.

Loree cruised from the start, striking out two batters in each of the first two innings to set the tone. He blanked the Huskies through the first five innings, sending the game into the sixth inning with the `Cats up by the score of 1-0.

In the top of the sixth, Connecticut put the first two runners on base in the inning. Rightfielder Tim Dempsey sacrificed both runners over giving the Huskies runners at second and third with one out. After Loree's sixth strikeout of the game, head coach Joe Godri made the call to the bullpen for Villanova, bringing in lefthander Mike Ciccotelli. Ciccotelli struck out pinch hitter Mike McDonough to end the inning, keeping the Wildcat shutout intact.

The Villanova offense heated up in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Wildcats scored three times to break the game wide open. Poydenis knocked in the first run of the inning to give the `Cats a 2-0 advantage. With the bases loaded and one out, Newbold lined a two-run single to left-center field to extend the Villanova lead to 4-0.



The Wildcats weren't done. One inning later, the `Cats scored four more times to put the game away. Third baseman Angelo Petracca singled in Mark Cardillo for Villanova's first run of the inning, giving the `Cats a 5-0 lead. After a two-run double by Poydenis made it a 7-0 game, Newbold capped off the Wildcats' scoring with an RBI single up the middle to score Poydenis and increase the Villanova advantage to 8-0.

The only thing left in doubt was the Wildcat shutout bid as UConn loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning. Ciccotelli, in his third inning, struck out Tokarz for the first out of the ninth inning. With the bases still loaded, centerfielder Russ D'Argento hit a ground ball to third base which Petracca picked up and threw to home for the force out. Ciccotelli completed the Villanova shutout, getting Tony Mallozzi to fly out to Newbold in leftfield to end the game.

Loree (4-0) picked up the win, allowing just five hits and two walks in five and two-thirds innings, striking out six. Ciccotelli picked up his second save of the year, striking out four and shutting out the Huskies for the final three and one-third innings. The shutout was the third of the season for the Wildcat pitching staff.

A number of stars shined at the plate for Villanova in game two. Petracca went a perfect four-for-four with two runs scored and one RBI. Newbold went three-for-five with three RBI. Poydenis went two-for-five with a double and a game-high four RBI. And Molloy went two-for-four with three runs scored.

Taking the loss on the mound for UConn was Mike James (2-2), who allowed four on eight hits in 6.1 innings, striking out seven and walking one.

Villanova and Connecticut will wind down the series on Sunday, playing the third and final game at 12:00 p.m., at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.