April 17, 2011
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - In the finale of this weekend's three-game series Villanova (13-21, 2-10 Big East) allowed two runs in the top of the first inning and trailed the rest of the way in a 10-2 loss to Connecticut (21-12-1, 10-2 Big East) at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Sunday afternoon. The game completed a three-game sweep of the series for the Huskies, while the Wildcats lost their sixth straight contest.
Villanova scored a run of its own in the bottom of the first inning and trailed just 3-1 after the first three innings of play but Connecticut stretched its lead in the fourth and fifth innings en route to settling on the final margin. Four runs scored in the top of the fourth and two more in the fifth for the Huskies, who finished the day with 17 hits.
On the offensive side for the Wildcats junior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) went 3-for-5 and scored both of the team's runs while freshman second baseman Michael Erb (Camarillo, Calif.) had two hits. Villanova added its second run in the bottom half of the sixth but also left the bases loaded in the frame and wound up with nine stranded runners on the day.
Calbi doubled to left field with one out in the bottom of the first inning and later scored on a wild pitch as the Wildcats got back one of the runs they allowed in the top half of the frame. In the sixth inning Calbi led off with a single, junior right fielder Matt Fleishman (East Northport, N.Y.) singled with one away and junior designated hitter Andrew Geenen (Portola Valley, Calif.) was hit by a pitch before junior first baseman Kevin Wager (Chester, Va.) drove home Calbi with a single into right field.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) made his first career start for Villanova and went the first 3 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits, while all but two of the seven runs charged to him were unearned. Ostapeck (2-1, 2.14 ERA) has been a strong bullpen arm for the Wildcats this season and thus earned today's start. Among the four relievers that appeared for the Wildcats, sophomore Matt Longfield (Miami, Fla.) threw two scoreless innings and junior Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) worked a scoreless top of the eighth inning.
The win for Connecticut went to Brian Ward (1-0, 4.30 ERA), who allowed an earned run on four hits while walking two and striking out seven over five innings. Three relievers for the Huskies combined to allow another run on five hits over the final four innings.
LJ Mazzilli led Connecticut offensively with four hits and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Each of the first three hitters in the Huskies lineup drove in two runs and catcher Doug Elliot went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a run batted in for the afternoon.
Villanova plays a midweek home game against Saint Joseph's on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. before heading to a three-game series at Cincinnati leading into the Easter holiday.
NOTES: Fleishman's single in the sixth inning extended his streak of games reaching base safely to 30 in a row ... With his three hits Calbi raised his average above .300 for the first time this season ... He is batting a team-best .396 in conference games.