April 5, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - For a second straight day Villanova (14-15, 1-8 Big East) was unable to get into an offensive groove and the Wildcats fell in both ends of a doubleheader to Notre Dame (19-10, 5-4 Big East) on Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. The Fighting Irish won the opener 4-0 and took the nightcap 9-3. Villanova scored only four runs in the three-game sweep.
In the opener, junior southpaw Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.) pitched a complete game with just eight hits allowed but was charged with his second loss of the season. He allowed single runs in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings but prevented Notre Dame from starting any extended rallies. Crimmel (2-2, 4.23 ERA) retired the leadoff man in seven of his eight innings and held the Fighting Irish to going just 1-for-9 (.111) with runners on base. Notre Dame hit three solo home runs in the game to account for the bulk of their offensive production.
Despite another solid pitching performance, the Wildcats lacked offensive punch of its own against strong pitching from the Fighting Irish. The team managed just three hits and reached base just four times overall against right-hander Brian Dupra, who pitched a three-hit shutout while striking out six.
Sophomore Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) had a pair of doubles for Villanova and senior Wes Borden (State College, Pa.) singled for the first Wildcat hit in the game. Dupra had retired the first 14 Villanova batters in the game before Borden singled up the middle with two outs in the top of the fifth.
The second game was far closer than the final score indicated, as the Wildcats held the lead through the early innings and did not trail for the first time until the bottom of the sixth. Villanova plated single runs in each of the first three innings, while Notre Dame scored once each in the second through fourth frames to pull into a 3-3 tie after four innings.
Another single run for Fighting Irish in the bottom of the sixth inning established a 4-3 lead before a five-run rally in the bottom of the eighth put the game out of reach for the Wildcats in their final at-bat. Sophomore Chris Pack (Darien, Ill.) allowed three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings and senior Kyle Carver (Aldan, Pa.) surrendered just an unearned run in 2 1/3 innings for Villanova.
Senior Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) and redshirt freshman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) each had two hits and drove in a run for the Wildcats. In the top of the first inning, Rosati singled with one out, stole second and eventually scored on a single by senior Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.). He (Rosati) drove in a run of his own in the second inning on a double down the left field line that brought in freshman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.). In the top of the third, senior Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) drew a one-out walk and Koczirka doubled him home with two down.
Eric Maust allowed six hits and three earned runs in 8 1/3 innings for the Fighting Irish, while issuing four walks and striking out just one. Jeremy Barnes recorded the final two outs for Notre Dame, whose starting pitchers combined to log 26 1/3 innings in the three games.
Barnes had two hits and drove in three runs for the Fighting Irish, while Cameron McConnell was 2-for-4 with two RBI. AJ Pollock was 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored.
Villanova returns to action this coming Tuesday with a 3:30 p.m. game at Lehigh. The contest is a second round game in the Liberty Bell Classic, with the winner advancing to the championship game at Citizens Bank Park later in the month against either Delaware or Saint Joseph's.