April 28, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Despite coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning trailing by six runs Villanova (11-32, 2-13 BIG EAST twice brought the tying run to the plate before the final out was recorded in an 11-8 loss to Seton Hall (26-16, 10-5 BIG EAST at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Sunday afternoon. The visiting Pirates swept a three-game series from the Wildcats this weekend, with the finale on Sunday being the closest of the three games.
The score was tied 5-5 after seven innings but Seton Hall batted around in a six-run eighth inning and took an 11-5 lead. Villanova was up to the challenge of battling back however, and scored three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning to pull to within three runs. That was as close as the margin would get, as the Wildcats left the bases loaded in the inning and stranded runners at first and second in the bottom of the ninth.
Villanova received great production from the top of its order and finished the day with 13 hits while also drawing six walks and being hit by a pitch once. Senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill), senior second baseman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) and junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) combined to go 6-for-14 with four walks, three runs scored and six RBI in the top three spots of the batting order. Freshman first baseman Max Beermann (Tampa, Fla.) also had two hits and hit his fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Sciacca hit a two-run double to left field with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and Jones followed with an RBI single through the right side to account for the three Wildcats runs in the eighth inning. Following the single by Jones two of the next three batters walked against Pirates reliever Brian Gilbert and Beermann came to the plate with the bases loaded. He worked to a 2-2 count and then hit a fly ball to deep center field which was caught for the last out of the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth freshman second baseman Adam Goss (Bellaire, Texas) was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Sciacca drew a two-out walk to extend the game. Jones came up representing the tying run and had a six-pitch at -bat before striking out to end the game.
Villanova had a 4-1 lead after scoring two runs in both the second and the fourth innings, helping to erase a 1-0 deficit. Freshman shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) bunted for an RBI single in the second inning and Rambaud followed with a run-scoring single. In the fourth inning freshman catcher Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lowe. Rambaud followed Lowe and tripled to left field to bring in a second run, while Jones singled to left with two down to score Sciacca and give the Wildcats a three-run lead.
Seton Hall tied the game with three runs in the top of the fifth inning against sophomore starting pitcher Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.), but Harris got out of the inning with the game still tied and Villanova went back in front in the bottom of the fifth when Beermann hit the first pitch of his at-bat over the fence in right-center field with two outs and nobody on.
In the top of the sixth inning the Pirates tied the game again when Mike Genovese led off with a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Sal Annunziata. The game remained tied at 5-5 until both teams broke out for multiple runs in the eighth inning.
Junior relief pitcher Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) entered the game for Harris with a runner at second and two outs in the top of the sixth inning. He retired Ryan Sullivan on a pop up in the infield and then recorded the first two outs in the top of the seventh. Meurer was replaced by junior reliever Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.), who stranded a runner at first base to end that frame. In the top of the eighth however, Haggarty (1-3, 4.15 ERA) faced five batters and allowed two hits and a walk while eventually being charged with four runs (three earned). He left with two men on, one out and the score 7-5 in favor of the Pirates, who continued to pile on.
Josh Prevost (4-2, 3.09 ERA) allowed two earned runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings of relief for Seton Hall and picked up the victory. Gilbert notched the final five outs while allowing two hits, two earned runs and four walks with four strikeouts in that span.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday afternoon to host Temple at 3:15 p.m.