April 10, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Despite having runners on base in all nine innings Villanova (9-22) came up short against LIU-Brooklyn (7-20) and was defeated, 5-3, at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon. Senior second baseman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) had three hits and drove in two runs for the Wildcats, who finished the day with eight hits while also drawing six walks and two hit batters.
Most of the scoring for the Blackbirds came in the early innings, as two runs in the top of the first inning and two more in the third gave LIU-Brooklyn an early 4-0 lead. Villanova nearly came all the way back however, scoring twice in the fourth inning and once more in the sixth to pull to within one run. An insurance run by the Blackbirds in the top of the eighth inning stymied the Wildcats bid for a late comeback.
In the bottom of the fourth inning senior catcher Brandon Clark (Spring, Texas) walked with one out and freshman shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) beat out an infield hit with two away to extend the inning. Senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Sciacca then hit a 1-0 pitch into left field for a two-run single.
Lowe was in the middle of a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning as well. His double to deep left-center field drove in junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.), who opened the inning with a walk and then stole second. Rambaud bunted for a single and Sciacca walked to load the bases with still nobody out but LIU-Brooklyn reliever Evan Zerff struck out senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) for the first out of the inning.
With the bases still loaded sophomore designated hitter Brandon Carr (Danville, Calif.) and freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) each hit hard line drives but both were right at first baseman Kevin Needham, who made the plays for the second and third outs. Villanova left at least one runner on base in every inning and finished the game with 14 total runners stranded.
Just as it seemed the Wildcats were closing in on tying the game the Blackbirds got one more run in the top of the eighth inning. Mike Garcia tripled to left-center field to start the inning and Chris Untereiner lined a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in what proved to be the game's final run. Untereiner had RBI singles in both the first and third innings to help LIU-Brooklyn build its early lead.
Junior left-hander Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) started and took the loss for Villanova, going two-plus innings and allowing four earned runs on six hits. Senior righty Kevin MacLachlan (Matawan, N.J.) replaced him in the top of the third inning and allowed an inherited runner to score but eventually went on to throw four scoreless innings. MacLachlan retired the final 11 batters he faced and allowed just one hit while striking out three in his longest relief outing of the season.
Brad Reimer (2-0, 7.90 ERA) pitched three scoreless innings to get the win for the Blackbirds.
This coming weekend the Wildcats host Connecticut in a BIG EAST series, with the first game scheduled for 3:15 on Friday afternoon.
NOTES: Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jon Tam (Basking Ridge, N.J.) made his Villanova debut in the top of the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk ... Sciacca reached base four times, with a single, two doubles and a walk ... Four of the Wildcats eight hits were doubles, including the two by Sciacca and one each by Lowe and freshman third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.).