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Wildcats Fall to Cincinnati, 9-8, on Walk off Home Runs in 10th Inning

April 25, 2009

Box Score

CINCINNATI, Ohio - Consecutive game-tying and game-winning solo home runs with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Cincinnati (21-18, 9-8 Big East) to a 9-8 win over Villanova (18-21, 4-13 Big East) on Saturday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.  Mike Spina and Lance Durham hit back-to-back home runs to account for the difference in the game.

On a day during which the Wildcats once had a 6-0 lead, the teams were never separated by more than one run after the sixth inning. The Bearcats scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game for the first time all day at 7-7. In the top of the 10th inning, redshirt freshman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) led off with a single and eventually scored from third on a two-out balk to put Villanova back in front.

Leadoff man T.J. Jones flied out to right field leading off the bottom of the 10th inning and Cameron Satterwhite followed with a fly ball to center field for the second out. Spina hit a 1-and-2 pitch over the fence down the left field line and Jones followed by lifting a 3-and-1 offering over the fence in right against junior Brian Streilein (Staten Island, N.Y.).

Koczirka went 3-for-5 to raise his team-leading batting average to .395, while seniors Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) each had two hits and two RBI. Redshirt freshman Matt Szczur (Erma, N.J.) and sophomore Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) added two hits apiece and both scored two runs as the Wildcats outhit Cincinnati, 15-14.

Villanova scored two runs with two outs in the top of the second inning and strung together five straight one-out hits in the fifth inning to build a 6-0 lead. Freshman Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) opened the scoring when he singled in classmate Kevin Wager (Chester, Va.) in the second, before Cotter followed with a run-scoring double.

In the fifth inning, Hall reached on an error and Calbi followed with a sacrifice bunt to turn the lineup over. The top five hitters in the order then rapped out five consecutive hits, beginning with a double from Cotter and following with four straight singles. The barrage knocked out Bearcat starter Michael Hill, who was charged with six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

Sophomore right-hander Chris Pack (Darien, Ill.) enjoyed early success against the righty-loaded Cincinnati lineup. After giving up a leadoff single to Jones in the bottom of the first inning, he didn't allow another hit until there was one out in the fourth inning. Pack ran into trouble with a man on and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and eventually surrendered a three-run double to Justin Riddell followed by a run-scoring single from Kiley Jones. Pack went 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven hits and five runs (four earned) with five walks and three strikeouts.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, sophomore Mike Francisco (Newtown Square, Pa.) entered with runners at first and third with one out and recorded a pair of fly ball outs to end the inning. He jammed Durham in a lefty-lefty matchup to fly out to left field and then retired Riddell to end the frame. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Francisco gave up a one-out single to Chris Peters with speedster Jamel Scott at second base but Cotter cut down Scott at the plate with a strong throw to the plate, where senior Wes Borden (State College, Pa.) was waiting to make the tag.

The Bearcat bullpen allowed just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings despite giving up eight hits. Three relievers for Cincinnati did not issue a walk though, and closer Jake Geglein (4-1, 2.86) went the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the win. He gave up two hits and one run, which scored on his balk in the 10th inning.

Streilein (3-6, 5.84) took the loss for Villanova.

The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at Noon.