May 2, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Redshirt freshman Matt Szczur (Erma, N.J.) scored both of his team's runs but Villanova (19-24, 4-16 Big East) managed just four hits in a 9-2 loss to Louisville (32-13, 14-6 Big East) on Saturday afternoon at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. The game was played following the completion of a suspended game from Friday night, which the Cardinals eventually won 10-4.
The regularly scheduled game for Saturday was scoreless through three innings as junior right-hander Brian Streilein (Staten Island, N.Y.) matched up with southpaw Justin Marks from Louisville. Both were on top of their game and the Cardinals finally broke through in what was shaping up to be a classic pitchers' duel with three runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Marks (7-2, 3.42 ERA) cruised through the first three innings, retiring all nine batters he faced on just 30 pitches. Down 3-0, though, Szczur got the Wildcats going in the fourth inning with a leadoff double to the gap in right-center field. Senior Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) followed with a bunt single and classmate Matt McFolling (Chicago, Ill.) hit a one-out sacrifice fly to drive in the first Villanova run.
The score stayed 3-1 into the sixth inning, when the Cardinals knocked out Streilein (3-8, 5.82) with a five-run inning that was helped along by a throwing error and later a passed ball. Streilein allowed eight hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, during which he walked four and struck out four.
A pair of errors by Louisville helped lead to the second run for the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth inning. Szczur reached on an error to start the frame and went from first to third on an error made on a fielder's choice by Rosati. Sophomore Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Szczur before Marks worked out of any further trouble.
Andrew Clark had two hits and scored three runs for the Cardinals, while Alec Lowrey was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Marks walked none and struck out seven in seven innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits. Reliever Tyler Mathis registered the final six outs.
Freshman Jerry Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings for Villanova in his second relief appearance in as many days.
The final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 12:15 p.m.
NOTES: Through the first 18 innings of the series in the two games played, Louisville has scored in five of its at-bats and Villanova has scored in four of theirs ... Despite that, the Cardinals have a 19-6 scoring edge in the series ... Battipaglia has not allowed an earned run in five innings over his last four appearances ... The game began at 1:49 p.m. following the conclusion of Friday's suspended game ... It was originally scheduled for a 12:45 p.m. first pitch.