April 20, 2013
CINCINNATI, Ohio - A double down the right field line with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning led to the first run of the game and three unearned runs followed in the inning as Villanova (9-28, 1-10 BIG EAST) lost the second game of a three-game series, 4-0, to Cincinnati (16-21, 4-10 BIG EAST) at Marge Schott Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The loss marked the seventh time this season that the Wildcats have been shut out.
The four-run sixth inning spoiled what was otherwise a terrific pitchers' duel between Villanova senior Stephen Ostapeck (Sacramento, Calif.) and Bearcats freshman Mitch Patishall (2-4, 3.43 ERA), who pitched a three-hitter while walking two and striking out five.
With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the sixth inning the game was still scoreless but Ian Happ drew a walk and Justin Glass hit the first pitch he saw from Ostapeck (0-6, 4.37 ERA) down the right field line and into the corner, allowing Happ to score the game's first run. Glass' double was the only extra-base hit of the game for either team.
Matt Williams was intentionally walked following the double by Glass but then a throwing error extended the inning and Cincinnati took full advantage of the extra out. A second run scored on the throwing error and Russell Clark followed with a two-run single as the Bearcats piled up three unearned runs before making the third out.
Until the Bearcats broke through for their two-out runs pitching ruled the day for both teams. Ostapeck scattered six hits in his six innings of work and was charged with only one earned run while walking three and striking out four. In his last two starts combined Ostapeck has yielded just two earned runs over 13 1/3 innings (1.35 ERA) while walking four and striking out 13 in that span.
In the bottom of the first inning Ethan McAlpine led off with a single for Cincinnati and stole second with nobody out. Happ drew a one-out walk and McAlpine moved up to third on a wild pitch but Ostapeck got Glass to hit a groundball and freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) started a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning. Ostapeck retired the side in order in the bottom of the second inning and allowed just one runner each inning from the third through the fifth, with a 6-4-3 double play ending the bottom of the fifth inning.
Patishall hit as many batters - three - as he allowed hits and also walked two but the Wildcats advanced just two runners to third base in the game. Senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) walked to lead off the sixth inning and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman second baseman Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas). Senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) followed with another walk and senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) followed with a fly ball to center that moved Rambaud up to third, but a pop up in the infield ended the inning.
In the top of the eighth Goss led off with a single, moved up to second on Schrenk's groundout and continued on to third when Sciacca reached on an error with still only one out. That was the best scoring chance Villanova had in the game but Patishall induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the scoring threat.
The series finale will be played on Sunday at Noon as the Wildcats look to avoid the three-game sweep.
NOTES: Ostapeck has limited opponents to a .245 batting average against him in his last two starts and lowered his season ERA by well over a run in that span but has no wins to show for it, as Villanova has scored just one total run in those two games ... Goss, Rambaud and junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) had the three Wildcats hits in the game ... Both teams turned two infield double plays ... Rambaud recorded his team-high 11th stolen base of the season.