Downs' Two Home Runs Not Enough as `Cats Fall to WVU
May 12, 2003
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - In the final game of a three-game Big East Conference series at Hawley Field on Monday, the Villanova baseball team was defeated by West Virginia, 11-6, as the Mountaineers hit three home runs and got another complete-game pitching performance from lefthander Zac Cline en route to the victory. The victory completed the three-game series sweep for West Virginia, now 34-14, 17-4 on the year. Villanova drops to 13-29, 5-17 after Monday's loss.
Villanova opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, getting an RBI single by Brian Newbold to give the `Cats a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Wildcats added to their lead as Mitch Mitchell hit a solo home run - his third long ball of the year - to increase the Villanova advantage to 2-0.
Jake Serfass got things going for West Virginia in the bottom of the fourth after Villanova starter John Yeager cruised through the first three innings, setting down nine in a row.
Trailing 2-0, West Virginia's Eric Grimm led off the inning with a single to right center. Lee Fritz's bloop double to center advanced Grimm to third. After Tim McCabe's popped out to left, Serfass crushed a 2-2 pitch over the center field wall for a three-run home run, his ninth of the year.
The Mountaineers tacked on two more runs in sixth with two outs when Kurtis Clinton caught up with Yeager's 0-1 fastball and hit it over the fence in left center to make the score 5-2, West Virginia.
Villanova answered with two runs in the top of the seventh when Dustin Downs took a belt-high changeup from Cline over the left field wall, plating Chris Graziano who reached on a single.
Downs hit his second home run of the game in the ninth with a runner on.
West Virginia's insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings proved to be a big lift for the Mountaineers.
Grant Psomas led off the seventh with a double to right and scored when Villanova third baseman Danny Poydenis threw wide of first base trying to get an out on Travis D'Amico's sacrifice bunt. D'Amico went to second on the errant throw and later scored on Grimm's RBI groundout. Fritz cleaned up the inning with his first home run of the year.
WVU tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth off Villanova reliever Dan Farino. West Virginia got three straight doubles from Serfass, Clinton and designated hitter Stan Posluszny to start the eighth. Posluszny's two-bagger was a two-run shot off the right field wall. Posluszny eventually scored on Jarod Rine's infield single.
Those six runs gave Mountaineer starter Cline enough room for error. The lefthander, began to tire with two outs in the top of the ninth.
He allowed four straight hits, including Downs' second home run of the game. Cline was able to finish off the Wildcats when he got Adrian Schau to fly out to right.
Cline allowed six runs on 11 hits. He fanned eight and walked two to improve to 10-3 on the season. Yeager took the loss for Villanova and his record drops to 2-7.
At the plate for the Wildcats, Downs went three-for-five with three runs scored, two home runs and four RBI. Graziano had three hits as well, going three-for-five with two runs scored. Newbold and Mitchell each went two-for-five with one RBI.
Rine, Grimm, Fritz, Serfass, Clinton, Posluszny and Psomas each had two hits for the Mountaineers. West Virginia had 15 hits for the game.
Villanova will get back into action on Tuesday, May 13th traveling to State College, Pa., to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.