Wildcats Drop Series Finale to Xavier, 4-0
April 13, 2014
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Freshman starting pitcher Hunter Schryver (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) turned in another solid effort in his second conference start but Villanova (10-22, 2-4 BIG EAST) was shut out for the second straight game and lost by a final count of 4-0 to Xavier (20-14, 6-0 BIG EAST) at Hayden Field on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore left fielder Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) and freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) had two hits apiece for the Wildcats, who had six hits total.
The host Musketeers scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning when Brian Bruening hit an RBI triple and Bo Slemons followed with a run-scoring single. The inning began with a dropped pop up in the infield but Schryver (1-4, 4.79 ERA) induced a fly out to center field and a groundout to short before Xavier eventually took advantage of the error and scored a pair of early runs.
Schryver went six innings and gave up just two earned runs while scattering seven hits. He walked two and struck out six, including three called third strikes thanks in part to controlling and locating his offspeed pitches extremely well. Schryver has produced a quality start in four of his six starts on the year and has allowed three earned runs or less in five of those outings.
In the middle innings of the contest the Wildcats did their best to manufacture runs against Musketeers starter Vinny Nittoli (4-2, 1.72 ERA), who allowed five hits and three walks while striking out just two in seven scoreless innings. Sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) walked with one out in the fourth inning and sophomore right fielder Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) lined a single to left field with two outs in the inning. Jewitt was thrown out trying to score from second on Morris' single and was only out at the plate on a perfect throw from left fielder Joe Forney.
Sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) led off the fifth inning with a walk and Goss singled with one out to bring the tying run to the plate in what was then a 3-0 game. The runners moved up to second and third when senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) bounced a ball up the first base line and got to the first base bag just half a step behind Nittoli, who was covering on the play. Czinege flied to right field to end the scoring threat.
The final two Xavier runs scored in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings. Bruening reached on an infield hit to start the fourth inning and later stole third base and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Stephen Schoettmer hit a solo home run down the left field line to lead off the sixth inning to account for the final run of the game.
Junior reliever Matt Lengel (Devon, Pa.) relieved Schryver to start the home half of the seventh inning and retired all six batters he faced in two perfect innings.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday afternoon at home when it takes on Saint Joseph's for the fourth time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.