April 16, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) had a memorable night with two home runs in a Major League stadium but Villanova (9-26) lost to Delaware (25-10) by a score of 8-3 in the championship game of the Liberty Bell Classic at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night. The home runs by Beermann are the first ever hit by the Wildcats in five games at the home of the Phillies.
The first two innings suggested the possibility of the game turning into a slugfest but Villanova scored just one run after the second inning and the Blue Hens slowly pulled away during the middle innings. The teams were meeting in the championship game of the local tournament for the third time in the last five years and Delaware notched its first victory in the three recent meetings.
Beermann went 3-for-3 and hit solo home runs in the bottom of the second and eighth innings. He also singled and was hit by a pitch and finished the night reaching base safely in all four of his plate appearances. Senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) had two hits, including an RBI double in the bottom of the second inning.
In the top of the first inning the Blue Hens had a nearly immediate lead. Joe Giacchino singled to lead off the game and one out later Jimmy Yezzo hit a home run over the center field fence to give Delaware a 2-0 advantage. EJ Stoltzfus lined into a sacrifice fly later in the inning as the Blue Hens went up 3-0 before taking the field for the first time.
Senior starting pitcher Kevin MacLachlan (Matawan, N.J.) bounced back after Delaware took the lead and retired the side in order in both the second and third innings. That allowed the Wildcats to get their own offense going in the bottom half of the second inning, with a leadoff home run by Beermann getting Villanova on the board for the first time.
With one out in the inning sophomore third baseman B.J. Bochicchio (Moosic, Pa.) reached on an error and with two down junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) extended the inning with a walk. Rambaud followed with a double down the left field line to pull the Wildcats to within 3-2 but Blue Hens starting pitcher Dan Gatto (3-1, 3.44 ERA) induced a groundball to get out of the inning.
Villanova pitchers did a good job of preventing the third-best hitting team in the country from having any big innings but Delaware did scratch out runs in three straight innings from the fourth through the sixth. Another single run in the top of the eighth inning extended the Blue Hens lead to 8-2 and the final run of the game came courtesy of Beermann's second shot of the game.
MacLachlan (1-2, 8.70 ERA) allowed seven hits and four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, although he pitched effectively after the first inning. Sophomore reliever Jeff Courter (Maple Glen, Pa.) and senior Matt Longfield (Miami, Fla.) each pitched scoreless innings of relief.
Yezzo finished the night with three hits and three runs batted in for Delaware, which had 16 hits in the game. Giacchino and Tyler Powell also had three hits.
Next up for the Wildcats is a three-game series at Cincinnati this weekend. The series begins on Friday night with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch and Villanova will be on the road for only the second time in the last seven weekends.