VILLANOVA, Pa.- This past weekend, the Villanova baseball team concluded the 1998 season by losing two of three to the West Virginia Mountaineers. Villanova finishes the season 26-21-1 overall and 6-15 in Big East play, while West Virginia heads into the Big East Tournament with a 36-15-1 overall record and a 13-9 conference mark. The Mountaineers will begin play in the Big East Tournament on Wednesday, May 13.
In game one of the three-game series, West Virginia recorded an 8-2 win in a seven inning contest. Senior left-hander Garrett Zyskowski pitched a complete game for the Mountaineers, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out nine. Villanova junior shortstop Pat Kane got things started early for the Wildcats, as he smacked a lead off homerun to centerfield to begin the game.
West Virginia came back to score eight unanswered runs, tallying four in both the third and fourth innings to cruise to the win. West Virginia right fielder Abe Barker led the Mountaineer charge going three-for-four with two RBI. Designated hitter Eddie Weightman and catcher Brad Elwood each homered for West Virginia. Junior Bill Brehm registered two hits for Villanova, while senior third baseman Rick Welsh added a double.
Villanova pounded out 20 hits in the second game of the doubleheader to earn the 15-10 victory. Of the 20 hits recorded by the Cats, eight were for extra bases highlighted freshman Matt Longo hitting his 12th home run of the year and Welsh recording his team-best 15th homer. Welsh and junior designated hitter Dan Boublis had two doubles, while senior second baseman Tom Shank and Brehm added one each. Welsh had a big day for Villanova, going four-for-six with four runs, three RBI, two doubles and a home run. Shank tallied three hits in six at bats, while freshman first baseman Nick Piantek went three-for-three. On the mound, junior Chris Pilato came on in relief to pitch 6.2 innings, yielding five runs on six hits to gain the win.
In Villanova's final game of the 1998 season, the Wildcats lost a heartbreaker by a score of 11-10. With the score tied at 10-10 in the bottom of ninth, West Virginia left fielder Joe McNamee led off with a game-winning home run to straightaway center field.
McNamee had a huge day for the Mountaineers, as he was three-for-four with two runs and four RBI. Boublis led the Villanova attack, going two-for-four with two runs, three RBI and a home run. Junior left fielder Joe DelVecchio tallied two doubles for the Cats, while senior catcher Augie Grove recorded his fourth home run of the season. Shortstop Eric Kropf and Longo added two hits a piece.