April 10, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - For a second straight game on Saturday afternoon, Villanova (18-10, 2-6 Big East) had its offense shut down by the pitching of Connecticut (21-7, 6-2 Big East) and was defeated, 4-0, as the Huskies completed a sweep of a double-header at J.O. Christian Field. The Wildcats had six hits in the nightcap - double their total from the first game of the day - but still wound up scoring just one unearned run in the twin-bill.
Doug Elliot delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the second inning to open the scoring for Connecticut, while George Springer and Mike Nemeth hit back-to-back solo home runs in the sixth inning against Wildcat starter Kyle Helisek (Cranberry Township, Pa.).
Helisek (3-3, 3.35 ERA) was never in any real trouble and went the first six innings with six hits and the four runs allowed. He walked three, struck out four and got some help from two unusual double plays that ended the bottom of the first and second innings.
With one out in the bottom of the first inning, Pierre LaPage was at first base when Springer flied out to deep left field. LaPage kept running while the ball was in the air and had rounded second base by the time the ball was caught. He got back to first base safely but Villanova appealed to second base and LaPage was called out for not touching the base on his way back to first.
After Elliot's double in the second inning, Billy Ferriter walked to put runners at first and second with one out. John Andreoli grounded a ball to second base, and the Wildcats registered a force-out of Ferriter at second base. However, Ferriter was ruled to have interfered with shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) on his slide and the batter-runner Andreoli was called out as a result of the interference.
Julian Diaz (Trenton, N.J.) pitched two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth for the Wildcats. He too induced a double play after Ferriter singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Andreoli lined out to second baseman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.), who tagged out Ferriter for an unassisted twin killing.
Villanova got two hits from Justin Bencsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.), who had the only multi-hit game of the day by a Wildcat hitter. Villanova went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the game and was just 2-for-11 overall with runners on base.
Starting pitcher Greg Nappo (4-3, 4.78) went the distance for the Huskies, walking none and striking out eight while scattering just the six hits. In the top of the seventh inning, Chris Johnson (Shrewsbury, N.J.) led off with a single and Sciacca followed with a double, but Nappo retired nine of the final 10 batters of the game to complete the shutout.
The final game of the three-game series is scheduled for Sunday at Noon.
NOTES: Villanova was 1-for-12 (.083) with runners in scoring position in the doubleheader and Connecticut was 2-for-13 (.154) ... The Huskies only had two at-bats with runners in scoring position in the entire second game.