April 1, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA. - On Tuesday, April 1st at Drexel Field in Philadelphia, the Villanova baseball team's rally from a seven-run deficit fell short as the Wildcats were defeated by the Drexel University Dragons by the score of 7-4. With the loss, Villanova's record fell to 6-14 overall on the season. Drexel improved to 5-15 on the year with Tuesday's win.
The Dragons put together back-to-back hits in the bottom of the first inning off of Wildcat starter Tom Kandybowicz to take the game's first lead. Josh Yocum doubled with two outs to start things off and catcher Brent Heaberlin followed with a single to right-center to score Yocum and give Drexel a 1-0 lead.
Heaberlin hurt Villanova again in the third inning, lining a two-run single up the middle to extend the Dragons' lead to 3-0. Drexel would go on to add two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth inning to take a controlling 7-0 advantage. The big blow in the fourth came on a two-run home run by leadoff hitter Josh Brandt for Drexel, while Steve Johnson had an RBI single in the fifth for the Dragons.
The Wildcat offense finally got on track in the top of the sixth inning against Drexel starter Jarame Beaupre. Centerfielder Chris Graziano walked with one out in the inning and went to second on a single by third baseman Danny Poydenis. With the bases loaded after a groundout by designated hitter Ryan Crammer and a walk to leftfielder Brian Newbold, freshman first baseman Freddie Thon singled to right field to score Graziano and Poydenis and cut the Drexel lead to 7-2. Shortstop Brian Trotta followed Thon up with a two-run double to center to plate two more runs and trim the margin to 7-4.
The Dragons' bullpen shut the door on any further Villanova rally however. Lefty James Langley came on to throw a scoreless seventh and eighth, and sidearmer Steve Garstka pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save and seal the 7-4 Drexel victory.
Beaupre got the win on the mound for the Dragons to improve to 2-2. Kandybowicz took the loss for the `Cats to fall to 1-2. Villanova relievers Dan Farino and Adrian Schau quieted the Drexel offense for the last three and a third innings, as Farino struck out two in two and a third scoreless innings and Schau whiffed one in a scoreless eighth.
At the plate for the Wildcats, Poydenis went two-for-five with a double to extend his season-high hitting streak to 14 games. Other top offensive performers were Thon who was two-for-four with a double, one run scored and two RBI, and Trotta who went one-for-three with a double and two RBI.
For Drexel, Yocum was three-for-three with a double and two runs scored, and Heaberlin was two-for-four with three RBI.
Villanova will get back into action on Thursday, April 3, as they travel to Boston to face the Boston College Eagles in a Big East doubleheader. Due to the wet field conditions at BC, the doubleheader will be played at Northeastern University. Check back on villanova.com for the Thursday's game times.