May 14, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Connecticut (32-22, 13-12 Big East) scored eight runs in the top of the first inning to set the tone early and went on to a 20-6 victory over Villanova (21-27, 5-19 Big East) on Thursday at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth. In the first game of a three-game series, the Wildcats scored single runs in six different innings but never came close to overcoming the early deficit.
Villanova wound up with 12 hits in the game despite the lopsided outcome and five different players had two hits apiece for the Wildcats. Senior Joe Cotter (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) tripled leading off the bottom of the first inning and scored a run, while classmate Joe Rosati (Havertown, Pa.) also had two hits, including his fourth home run of the year in the bottom of the third inning.
The Huskies had eight hits and took advantage of three errors by Villanova in the opening inning. Connecticut sent 12 men to the plate in the frame, which featured five run-scoring singles and an RBI triple. Most of the damage was done against junior southpaw Kevin Crimmel (Harrisburg, Pa.), who was charged with seven earned runs while getting just two outs. Crimmel (3-5, 6.33 ERA) was removed during the inning for senior Kyle Carver (Aldan, Pa.), who pitched 6 1/3 innings of relief to get the Wildcats through the seventh inning.
Mike Olt and Matt Burnett drove in four runs apiece for the Huskies, who entered the series likely needing a pair of wins this weekend in order to clinch a spot in next week's BIG EAST Championship. George Springer scored five runs for Connecticut and Peter Fatse finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. The Huskies had 21 hits and drew eight walks in the game.
Redshirt freshman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) walked leading off the bottom of the second inning for Villanova and later scored on a groundout by freshman Tyler Sciacca (Staten Island, N.Y.). The Wildcats scored runs in five of their first six times at the plate against UConn starter Matt Barnes (5-2, 4.71) and trailed 13-5 after six innings. Freshman Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) had an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning and Koczirka singled in a run in the sixth.
Barnes allowed seven hits and five earned runs in his six innings of work, walking one and striking out six before yielding to Scott Oberg for the final three innings. Oberg scattered five hits and a run in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season by way of pitching the final three innings.
Junior Justin Bencsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.) came off the bench to go 2-for-3 with a double for Villanova, while Sciacca and Calbi each had a pair of hits. Sciacca's run-scoring groundout in the bottom of the second inning was his first RBI in conference play this season.
The teams meet on Friday at 3:45 p.m. in the second game of this weekend's series.