Czinege Grand Slam Powers Wildcats to 16-8 Win at Temple
April 22, 2014
AMBLER, Pa. - Freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) broke open a one-run game with a grand slam in the top of the sixth inning and Villanova (12-24) put up 18 hits in a 16-8 romp over Temple (12-20) at Skip Wilson Field on Tuesday afternoon. Czinege and senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) had three hits apiece and five other batters each had two hits in the Wildcats highest scoring game in more than two years.
Czinege, whose home run was his third of the season, also drove in the first run of the game with a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and finished with three runs scored and five RBI for the day. Jones was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, while freshman right fielder Donovan May (Newark, Del.) and freshman catcher Zander Retamar (Boca Raton, Fla.) both had two hits and three runs batted in.
Villanova scored in six different innings but put the game away with a five-run sixth inning followed by a six-run outburst in the top of the seventh. Sophomore designated hitter Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.), sophomore third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) and sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) all had multi-hit games in the win, with Jewitt and Lowe each driving in a pair of runs.
Lowe led off the sixth inning with the Wildcats leading 5-4 and drew a four-pitch walk. Jones followed with a single to right field and Morris bunted for a hit to load the bases with still nobody out. Czinege was up next and worked the count full against Owls reliever Zach White before unloading on a pitch that he drove over the left field fence to push the Villanova lead to 9-4.
Sophomore first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) followed the grand slam with a double to right field and Jewitt walked to set the table for the fifth run of the inning. Freshman left fielder Brian Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y.) sacrificed the runners up to second and third with one away and May hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Beermann for a 10-4 lead.
In the top of the seventh inning Beermann and Jewitt drew consecutive walks with the bases loaded to force in runs and May was hit by a pitch with the bags still fill to squeeze in another run. Retamar followed with a two-run single and Lowe singled to drive in the sixth run of the inning and the Wildcats final run of the day. Villanova batted around in each of its big innings, sending 10 men to the plate in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Junior relief pitcher JB Kole (Basking Ridge, N.J.) earned his second win of the season in relief of freshman Donovan Armas (Bellerose Village, N.Y.), who made his first career start. Armas went three-plus innings and departed with a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. He walked three and struck out three while being charged with three earned runs on five hits. Kole (2-3, 7.83 ERA) continued his recent success in relief and allowed just one run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Temple put two runners on against Kole and senior reliever Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) entered to register the final out of the inning before the Owls rally could gain any momentum. Meurer also pitched a scoreless seventh inning to lower his season ERA to 1.17 and junior Jon Tam (Basking Ridge, N.J.) recorded the final four outs.
Temple starting pitcher Simon Mathews (0-6, 10.13 ERA) took the loss after allowing eight hits and five runs (four earned) in five innings. After each team scored a single run in the opening inning the Wildcats scored twice in the top of the second inning and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.
Villanova has a second midweek game tomorrow afternoon and will host Saint Joseph's beginning at 3:15 p.m. It will be the fourth meeting of the season between the two teams and the second matchup at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.
NOTES: Villanova avenged a 7-3 loss to Temple earlier this season ... The Wildcats lead the all-time series 67-55 and the teams meet again next week at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth ... The 16 runs for Villanova are the team's highest scoring output since a 26-11 win over West Virginia on April 6, 2012, while the 18 hits are the most for the Wildcats since another 18-hit outing against Binghamton on March 17, 2012 ... Czinege's grand slam is the first by a Villanova hitter since outfielder Matt Fleishman hit a grand slam in the 2012 season opener (2/17/12) at Arkansas.