April 21, 2013
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) and junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) had the big hits in a seven-run third inning and Villanova (10-28, 2-10 BIG EAST) rode a combined six hits and eight runs batted in from the two sluggers to a 12-4 win over Cincinnati (16-22, 4-11 BIG EAST) in the finale of a three-game series at Marge Schott Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Wildcats, who finished the day with a season-high 14 hits.
Jones was 4-for-5 with a career high five runs batted and Beermann went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs as every player in the Villanova starting lineup reached base safely at least once. Beermann had a two-run double and Jones hit a three-run home run in the top of the third inning, part of a seven-run frame which turned a 1-0 deficit into a commanding 7-1 lead.
Senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored, two RBIs and two walks, while freshman catcher Bob Slagle (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) had two hits and a run scored. Slagle led off the third inning with his first career hit, a single to right field, and added another hit later in the same inning when the Wildcats sent 11 men to the plate.
The offensive outpouring was more than enough support for sophomore left-hander Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.), who allowed just two earned runs while pitching into the eighth inning. Harris (4-5, 2.85 ERA) scattered 10 hits over 7 2/3 innings while walking two and striking out six. He allowed three runs total and left in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs and the bases loaded.
Villanova was comfortably in front at point - leading 11-3 - but junior reliever Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) stranded the bags full by getting JP Jackson to fly out to end the inning. Haggarty recorded the final four outs to close out the win.
Justin Glass hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the first inning to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead but the Wildcats got on the board in a big way with their largest single inning of the season.
The big rally in the top of the third inning kicked into gear after Slagle singled, senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) was hit by a pitch and freshman second baseman Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) bunted to sacrifice the runners up to second and third. Senior shortstop Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Schrenk walked to force home a run and make the score 1-1.
Cincinnati lifted starting pitcher Christian McElroy (2-5, 5.83 ERA) after the walk to Schrenk and junior designated hitter John Cialone (Houston, Texas) greeted reliever Thomas Gentile with a single up the middle which gave Villanova a 2-1 lead. Beermann laced a double down the right field line to drive in two more runs but the Bearcats were on the verge of getting out of the inning down 4-1 after Gentile struck out freshman third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) for the second out.
Jones was up next though, and he hit an 0-2 pitch for a three-run home run which cleared the bases and put the game out of reach at 7-1. It was the third home run of the season for Jones, who later in the game added an RBI single in the fifth inning and a run-scoring triple in the top of the seventh. He was only a double short of a cycle in the game.
The other runs in the game for the Wildcats came on RBI singles by Schrenk in the fourth inning and Rambaud in the fifth, plus a solo home run to right field by Beermann leading off the top of the ninth. It was the fourth home run of the season and third this week for Beermann, who went deep twice against Delaware at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
In the bottom of the fourth inning Matt Williams scored on a single to right center field by Russell Clark, who wound up going from first to third after his hit on a throwing error. Devin Wenzel followed by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field which scored Clark with an unearned run, but Jones made a terrific catch to prevent Wenzel's fly ball from turning into something more. Harris then struck out Ryan Quinn to end the inning.
Woody Wallace was 4-for-4 but neither scored nor drove in a run for Cincinnati, which stranded 11 runners on base.
Villanova returns to action with a non-conference game at Temple on Tuesday afternoon, then returns home for a Wednesday afternoon date against St. Peter's.