April 20, 2004
PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA. - Wildcat sophomore Ted Aust threw seven shutout innings in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday, April 20th at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, to lead the Villanova baseball team to a 7-0 victory over the La Salle Explorers. The Wildcats will now move on to the tournament semifinals, where they will take on the winner of Temple/Delaware (date, site and time to be determined). With the victory, the `Cats improved to 21-14-1 overall on the season. The Explorers fell to 15-17-2 on the year.
Aust came out throwing strikes on Tuesday and never looked back. In the top of the second, he registered an easy 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches. With two runners on and just one out in the third, Aust got two consecutive lazy fly ball outs to end the La Salle scoring threat.
In the bottom of the third inning, Villanova took the game's first lead. Taking advantage of two hit by pitches, the Wildcats put runners at first and second with one out. Centerfielder Kris Molloy and third baseman Angelo Petracca then pulled off a double steal to give Villanova runners at second and third. The `Cats got their first run of the game on an RBI single to left by rightfielder Alan Day to take a 1-0 advantage. It was the Wildcats' first run in 14 innings this season against the Explorers, as the two teams played to a 0-0 11-inning tie on March 31st. Villanova extended its lead to 2-0 later in the inning on an RBI groundout by leftfielder Brian Newbold. The RBI was Newbold's 26th of the season to lead the team.
One inning later, the Wildcats scored twice more to increase their lead to 4-0. Molloy had the big hit in the inning for Villanova, lining a two-run single through the right side scoring Mark Cardillo and Brian Trotta.
Aust continued to get better and better as the game went on. In the top of the seventh inning, he retired the first two batters of the frame on just two pitches and then got pinch hitter Billy Kern to ground to short to end the inning. Aust would leave after seven shutout innings, having allowed just three hits. Right-hander Joe McCoy came on in relief to start the eighth inning and threw a 1-2-3 scoreless inning of relief.
The Wildcats capped off their scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three more times to take a 7-0 lead. First baseman Adrian Schau had a leadoff double in the eighth, advanced to third on an error and came around to score on a wild pitch to give Villanova a 5-0 lead. Designated hitter Danny Poydenis and Trotta then registered back to back triples, accounting for the `Cats next run. Trotta scored the Wildcats' final run of the contest, coming in from third on the second wild pitch of the inning, making it a 7-0 game after eight innings.
Schau came in the game for the `Cats in the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced to close out the game for Villanova.
Aust earned the win on the mound for the Wildcats to remain perfect on the season at 4-0. He allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out two batters. Aust bettered his team-leading ERA to 0.90.
Explorers' starter Chris Hughes (0-2) took the loss for La Salle, giving up four runs on five hits in four innings.
Trotta led the way offensively for the `Cats, going three-for-three with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI. In addition, Schau went two-for-four with a double and a run scored, Cardillo went two-for-three with a triple and a run scored, and Molloy went one-for-four with a game-high two RBI.
Villanova will get back into action on Friday, traveling to Jamaica, N.Y., to take on the St. John's Red Storm in a Big East doubleheader at 12:00 p.m.