April 8, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - Eight different players had a hit and the middle of the batting order drove in all three runs but Villanova (10-19) allowed six unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings and lost to Lafayette (8-16) by a final count of 6-3 at Kamine Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. In their only midweek game this week the Wildcats built a 2-0 lead before the Leopards came back and went in front.
Sophomore designated hitter Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) extended his hitting streak to eight games and reached base three times with an infield hit and two walks. Freshman third baseman Brian Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y.) was the only other Villanova hitter to reach base multiple times and he did so with an RBI single and a walk.
Lafayette scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead and then stretched the margin with two more runs in the home half of the fifth. In the top half of the sixth sophomore freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) led off with a double and sophomore first baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) doubled him home with one out to cut the Wildcats deficit to 6-3. Trabulsi followed with a walk to bring the tying run to the plate but the Leopards turned to reliever Ryan Callanan who registered two outs to end the inning with the two runners stranded.
In the top of the ninth inning senior catcher John Cialone (Houston, Texas) walked with one out and sophomore right fielder Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) extended the game with two away when he hit a ground ball to third and was safe at first when the throw was dropped. Morris then coaxed a walk against Lafayette reliever Connor McMahon to put the three tying runs on base but McMahon recorded a strikeout for the final out of the game.
Earlier in the game Villanova manufactured a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) reached on an error to start the inning and then moved around the bases one at a time. He stole second, took third on Jewitt's groundout and then scored when Trabulsi lined a single to center field to bring in the game's first run.
The second Wildcats run of the game came about in similar fashion in the top of the fourth inning. Morris led off with an infield single and Czinege sacrificed him into scoring position. After Morris went to third on a balk, Jones slid a base hit through the right side to give Villanova a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning Tyler Hudson and Alex Nickles each had RBI singles to tie the game at 2-2 and pinch hitter Jackson Kramer hit a two-out, two-run double to push the Leopards into the lead. Tim Lazor and Hudson each drove in runs in the fifth inning to make the score 6-2.
Junior left-hander Jeff Courter (Maple Glen, Pa.) made his fourth start of the year for the Wildcats and pitched four-plus innings. Courter (0-3, 7.81 ERA) was charged with seven hits and five earned runs while striking out one and not issuing a walk. Senior Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) and junior JB Kole (Basking Ridge, N.J.) combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief while allowing just one hit and striking out four.
Cory Spera (3-1, 1.29 ERA) pitched the fourth and fifth innings out of the bullpen for the Leopards and earned the win, while McMahon notched the final eight outs of the game to record the save.
Villanova goes on the road this weekend to play a three-game BIG EAST series at Xavier. Game times during the weekend are 3:00 p.m. on Friday, 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Noon on Sunday.