May 12, 2013
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Five unanswered runs in the first three innings created too much of a hole to overcome and Villanova (11-39, 2-19 BIG EAST) lost the final game of a weekend series to No. 17 Pittsburgh (49-11, 18-3 BIG EAST) by a final score of 10-2 at Charles L. Cost Field on Sunday afternoon. The host Panthers scored twice in the bottom of the first inning and added three more runs in the third inning to take an insurmountable 5-0 lead.
Both of the Wildcats runs in the game scored in the top of the fifth inning and narrowed the deficit to 5-2 but Villanova managed just six hits for the day and Pittsburgh stretched the margin with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning before closing the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
In the first four innings of the game the Panthers outhit the Wildcats by a 7-1 margin but junior right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) and freshman third baseman Kevin Jewitt (West Chester, Pa.) led off the top of the fifth inning with consecutive singles to center field and right field, respectively. After a fielder's choice groundout freshman catcher Bob Slagle (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and freshman shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) grounded into a fielder's choice which scored Jones with the first Villanova run of the game.
Senior center fielder Paul Rambaud (Chicago, Ill.), who had four hits in a doubleheader on Saturday, followed Lowe with an RBI single to center field which plated another run. Senior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) singled to left field to reload the bases with two outs but Pittsburgh starting pitcher Rhys Aldenhoven (8-0, 1.90 ERA) recorded a strikeout for the final out of the inning.
Following the two-run rally in the fifth inning the only other hit for the Wildcats the rest of the game came when freshman pinch hitter Nicolas Coutre (Libertyville, Ill.) led off the top of the ninth inning with a single. Jones and Slagle were the only Villanova hitters to reach base twice in the game, as each had a single and was hit by a pitch.
In the early innings the Panthers jumped on Wildcats sophomore starter Josh Harris (Streamwood, Ill.) and eventually scored eight runs on 10 hits against him in 5 1/3 innings. Harris (4-7, 4.04 ERA) struck out five while walking three.
Casey Roche hit a two-run double with nobody out in the bottom of the first inning which gave Pittsburgh an early 2-0 lead. He later walked to open the home half of the third inning and the Panthers eventually scored three runs in that frame. Steven Shelinsky, Jr. hit a two-run double in the inning and scored himself on a double play two batters later.
Pittsburgh leadoff hitter Stephen Vranka had three hits and three runs scored and each member of the Panthers lineup had at least one hit.
Villanova is in the midst of playing seven straight road games to finish the 2013 season. On Tuesday afternoon the Wildcats will take on Penn State (3:35 p.m. first pitch) in their final non-conference game of the season.