April 24, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Four home runs allowed in the first six innings of the game led to five runs scoring and Villanova (18-20, 4-12 Big East) dropped the opener of a three-game series by a 16-2 final against Cincinnati (20-18, 8-8 Big East) on Friday night at Marge Schott Stadium.
The Bearcats had a pair of one-run leads early on before taking the lead for good with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cincinnati later broke the game open with nine runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Wildcats plated single runs in the top of the second and fourth innings to twice tie the score before their bats went quiet through the middle innings.
Senior Wes Borden (State College, Pa.) had a pair of doubles for Villanova, one to right-center to drive home a run in the second inning and one to left-center in the fourth. He eventually came around to score that inning on a single to center field by sophomore Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.).
Mike Spina hit his team-high 13th home run for the Bearcats in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring. In the top of the second, senior Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) led off with a single for the Wildcats and then stayed out of a double play when he was in motion on a groundout. Borden followed with the first of his two doubles to make the score 1-1.
Junior southpaw Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.) tied a season and career-high with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings but allowed all four home runs hit by Cincinnati. A solo home run by Jimmy Jacquot in the second inning restored the Bearcat lead and Cameron Satterwhite homered in both the fourth and sixth frames. The latter homer chased Crimmel (3-3, 4.47 ERA), who surrendered 10 hits and five earned runs.
Villanova put two runners on base in both the third and fifth innings but could do more damage against Billy Welch (1-0, 6.16), who scattered five hits and two earned runs in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out one. Reliever Sam Slavik pitched three scoreless innings for his first career save.
The floodgates opened in the bottom of the sixth inning after Crimmel was out of the game, as the Bearcats scored eight runs in the frame against two freshmen relievers for the Wildcats. Freshman Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) pitched the seventh and eighth innings for Villanova and allowed just an unearned run on two hits while waking none and striking out three.
Lance Durham had four hits for Cincinnati, while Satterwhite and Spina each went 3-for-6.
The second game of the weekend series is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, with sophomore Chris Pack (Darien, Ill.) taking the mound for Villanova.
NOTES: Crimmel originally set his career high of seven strikeouts earlier this season in a start against North Carolina State on March 4 ... This was the third game of the season in which the Wildcats have surrendered four home runs ... The other occasions came against North Carolina State (Mar. 4) and West Virginia (Mar. 29).