May 7, 2011
BETHESDA, Md. - Every hitter in the starting lineup reached base safely at least once and the team racked up seven extra-base hits but Villanova (17-26, 4-15 Big East) managed just two short-lived leads and lost by a score of 8-5 to Georgetown (21-27, 3-16 Big East) on Friday night at Shirley Povich Field in the opener of a three-game series. The game was delayed for nearly an hour in the top of the first inning before the teams played an unusual game the rest of the way without interruption.
Senior first baseman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) led off the game with his third home run of the year and first career leadoff shot to give the Wildcats an immediate lead. Lightning in the area forced the game to be halted before the top half of the first was completed and nearly an hour later Villanova would eventually leave the bases loaded with only the one run scoring in the inning.
Despite 12 hits in the game - including a season-high six doubles - the Wildcats were only 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 runners on base. Junior right fielder Matt Fleishman (East Northport, N.Y.) finished the night 3-for-5 with a run scored and two doubles while Koczirka had two hits and two RBI in the game. Sophomore outfielders Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) and Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.) had two hits apiece.
After the Hoyas fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning they rallied to tie the score at 1-1 in the bottom half. Similar circumstances occurred in the top of the fourth when junior catcher Adam Nelson (St. Joseph, Mo.) led off with a double and scored on a Koczirka double one out later. Georgetown plated two runs of its own in the home half of the fourth inning and took its first lead of the game at 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Hoyas put up a four-run burst and extended their lead to 7-2 before maintaining the advantage the rest of the way. Villanova added a run in the sixth and two more in the eighth to close to within 7-5 but Georgetown added an insurance tally in its final at-bat of the night.
Fleishman was in the middle of the Wildcats rallies in both the sixth and eighth innings. He doubled in the sixth to advance junior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) to third base and set up a sacrifice fly for senior designated hitter Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.) which trimmed the Villanova deficit to 7-3. In the eighth inning Calbi and Fleishman each singled to lead off the frame and eventually scored, respectively, on an RBI double by Schrenk and a run-scoring groundout by freshman second baseman Michael Erb (Camarillo, Calif.).
Junior starting pitcher Kyle McMyne (Old Forge, Pa.) struck out seven over four-plus innings of work for the Wildcats but departed in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded and Villanova trailing 3-2. All three of the runners he left on base eventually scored and McMyne (4-7, 5.13) was charged with six runs (five earned) on eight hits in his start.
Unlike the seven extra-base hits by their visitors the Hoyas had just one extra-base hit in the game even though the team matched the Wildcats with 12 hits total. Georgetown added to their offense by going 7-for-7 on stolen bases, with the top two hitters in the order combining for three runs scored and five steals. Rand Ravnaas finished 4-for-5 with three stolen bases and also drove in the go-ahead run for the Hoyas in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Starting pitcher Thomas Polus was knocked out after allowing six hits, four walks and two earned runs in 3 2/3 innings and Georgetown reliever Bobby Kirby (3-1, 7.31 ERA) picked up the win. Kirby went 2 1/3 innings and allowed three hits and one run. Neal Dennison pitched the final two innings for his fourth save of the year.
The second game in the series is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday night.