Back And Forth Battle Swings to Butler in Opening Game of Doubleheader
May 17, 2014
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - In a game that was scheduled to be a seven-inning contest Villanova (15-34, 4-13 BIG EAST) tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but eventually fell in the eighth as Butler (20-29, 7-10 BIG EAST) pulled out a 4-2 victory at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth on Saturday afternoon. The visiting Bulldogs scored twice with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead for good. Later in the day the Wildcats gained a split of the season-ending doubleheader with a 3-2 victory in the nine-inning nightcap.
Villanova trailed 2-1 when it came to bat in the last of the seventh inning but senior center fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored the tying run. He stole second with one out and continued on to third when the throw to second went into center field. Freshman second baseman Todd Czinege (Overland Park, Kan.) was the batter at the time and he hit a sacrifice fly to center which brought home Jones with the tying run.
In the top of the eighth inning Chris Maranto beat out an infield single with one away to break up a strak of four consecutive strikeouts for senior reliever Chris Haggarty (Valley Cottage, N.Y.). Haggarty (2-3, 3.74 ERA) entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth inning after Butler had taken a 2-1 lead in the inning. He struck out the first batter he faced, induced a fly ball to center to end the inning and then struck out the side in the top of the seventh. Haggarty also struck out Austin Miller to begin the eighth inning before Maranto's hit ended the streak.
With two outs in the eighth Maranto stole second and Dan Busch reached on another infield hit which extended the inning. Busch moved up to second on a wild pitch and Pat Guinane lined a two-run single back up the middle to drive in what proved to be the winning runs. After a single by Will Amdador put runners at the corners with two away, senior lefty Matt Meurer (Katy, Texas) entered and struck out Nick Bartolone on three pitches to end the inning.
Freshman left fielder Brian Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y.) hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Sophomore shortstop Eric Lowe (Arlington Heights, Ill.) singled with one out in that inning and moved up to second when freshman catcher Zander Retamar (Boca Raton, Fla.) walked. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball and Trabulsi hit a 1-1 pitch for a sacrifice fly to center.
Butler tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Bartolone. The inning began with Ryan Wojciechowski hitting a ground-rule double that hopped over the right field fence. Will Amador sacrificed Wojciechowski to third with one out and Bartolone followed with a single to right field to drive in the run.
Freshman left-hander Hunter Schryver (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) looked strong in his sixth BIG EAST start of the season and cruised into the sixth inning. Marco Caponi led off the sixth with a single up the middle and moved to second on Austin Miller's sacrifice bunt. Maranto followed with a walk and Marcos Calderon singled to left-center to drive in Caponi and give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 2-1. Villanova threw to third on the play to try and get Maranto, but he was safe at third and Calderon took second on the throw. Quincy Quintero was intentionally walked to load the bases before Haggarty entered. Schryver wound up allowing five hits and two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, with two walks and one strikeout.
Eric Stout went the first six innings for Butler and was charged with just an unearned run on four hits. He walked three and struck out nine before turning the game over to Will Schierholz (5-2, 3.03 ERA) in the seventh. Schierholz blew the save on Czinege's sacrifice fly but retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth to close out the victory.
Sophomore right fielder Emmanuel Morris (Willowbrook, Ill.) had two hits for the Wildcats, while Lowe finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored and Retamar also reached base twice on a pair of bases on balls.