May 12, 2012
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Sophomore starting pitcher Pat Young (The Woodlands, Texas) struck out the first five batters of the game and from there on just kept cruising along the way to a 7-3 win for Villanova (28-23, 10-13 BIG EAST) over Cincinnati (15-37, 4-19 BIG EAST) at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. Young (6-4, 4.25 ERA) allowed just one hit in six dominant innings of work and the Wildcats evened this weekend's series at one game apiece.
Villanova scored one run in the bottom of the first inning and then broke out of what had been an offensive struggle this weekend with three runs in the sixth inning to extend its lead to 5-0 and put the game out of reach of the Bearcats, who finished with a total of only three hits in the game.
The tone was set early on by Young, who retired 17 of the 22 batters he faced and did not allow a single runner past first base while he was in the game. He exited after issuing a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh inning with the Wildcats well on their way to the victory. Young's final line included one hit and one earned run - which scored on an RBI groundout after he was out of the game - with three walks and seven strikeouts, including the string of five consecutive strikeouts to start the game.
By the time his outing was finished Young had generated 18 swings and misses on his pitches with a good fastball and a sharp breaking ball. Cincinnati hitters swung 48 times against him and put just 11 balls in play, while swinging and missing or fouling the ball off on 37 of their 48 swings (77 percent).
For the second straight day the early and middle part of the game was a story of two starting pitchers who were on top of their game. Bearcats starting pitcher Zach Morris (3-4, 3.00 ERA) struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings and yielded four runs, with three of those being unearned. Villanova went on to add three more unearned runs against the Cincinnati bullpen.
Junior second baseman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.) had three hits and drove in two runs for the Wildcats and junior catcher Brandon Clark (Spring, Texas) had two hits and two runs scored to lead Villanova, which finished the game with nine hits. Senior designated hitter Andrew Geenen (Portola Valley, Calif.) went 1-for-3 and led all players with a game-high three runs scored.
In the bottom of the first inning senior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and the leadoff runner eventually led to a run scoring when senior left fielder Matt Fleishman (East Northport, N.Y.) delivered a two-out RBI single to score Sciacca, who reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a passed ball and stole third before scoring the game's first run.
Calbi continued to epitomize the way the Wildcats offense has worked this season. In his first four trips to the plate through six innings of play he did not register an official time at bat, going 0-for-0 with a walk, a sacrifice bunt and two times being hit by a pitch. Calbi batted in the first, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings and it was no coincidence that Villanova scored in four of the five innings in which he came to the plate.
Sophomore relief pitcher Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) relieved Young with a runner at first and nobody out in the seventh inning and recorded the final nine outs of the game for his second save of the season. He surrendered a two-run home run to Justin Glass in the top of the eighth but retired the final four batters of the game in order to prevent any chances of the Bearcats putting together a rally.
The final game of the three-game series is on Sunday at 12:15 p.m., with Senior Day ceremonies beginning on the field at Noon.
NOTES: Young has pitched into the seventh inning or later in six of his eight BIG EAST starts this season, and into the sixth inning in all eight appearances ... His seven strikeouts today were the most he has had in a game against a BIG EAST opponent and tied his second highest single-game output of the season regardless of the opponent ... Calbi was hit by a pitch two times in the game and when he got hit in the bottom of the sixth inning it was the 50th hit by pitch of his career ... Calbi also moved into a tie for sixth place in school history with his 195th game played ... He is in a three-way tie with Brian Trotta (2001-04) and James Dolbier (2005-08) ... Today's win moved the Wildcats back into sole possession of eighth place in the BIG EAST standings with four regular season conference games remaining.