April 25, 2014
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - A barrage of scoring in the early innings created too much of a hole to dig out of and Villanova (12-26, 3-7 BIG EAST) dropped the opener of a three-game series to Seton Hall (29-9, 4-3 BIG EAST) by a final score of 10-0 at Owen T. Carroll Field on Friday afternoon. The host Pirates did all of their scoring in the first four innings, including three separate three-run innings to put the game out of reach.
Junior relief pitcher Jeff Courter (Maple Glen, Pa.) was sold in relief for the Wildcats and pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He allowed only four hits - all singles - and did not walk a batter while striking out one. Courter recorded his longest career relief outing, although it was the fourth time he has thrown at least four innings in relief in a game.
Villanova had just two hits and three base runners in the contest. Senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) singled and was hit by a pitch to reach base twice out of the leadoff spot, while freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) also singled. Jones was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and stole a base with two outs in the top of the first inning but the swiped bag wound up being the only time that the Wildcats had a runner reach scoring position in the game.
Seton Hall starting pitcher Josh Prevost (9-1, 1.48 ERA) went the distance in the shutout and had 13 strikeouts, including striking out the side in the first and third innings. He surrendered a two-out single to Jones in the top of the sixth inning and a leadoff single to Czinege in the seventh before setting down the final nine batters of the game in order.
Junior starting pitcher Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.) was the victim of the Pirates offensive attack and allowed 10 runs on 13 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Seton Hall raced out of the gates with three runs in each of the first two innings to forge a 6-0 lead. After a single run crossed the plate in the bottom of the third on Chris Selden's solo home run, the Pirates went back to work and scored three more times in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Sal Annunziata went 3-for-5 with three runs batted in to lead the Pirates offensively and Zack Weigel had two hits and three runs scored. All nine starters in the Seton Hall lineup had at least one hit in the contest and the Pirates pounded out 17 hits overall.
The second game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.