May 18, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Villanova (28-26, 10-16 BIG EAST) was limited to just three hits and was shut out for the second time this season in a 6-0 loss at Rutgers (30-23, 15-11 BIG EAST) at Bainton Field on Friday afternoon. The loss was the third straight for the Wildcats, who had not previously lost a series to the Scarlet Knights since the 2007 season.
Rutgers scored three runs in a long time at bat in the bottom of the second inning to build a 3-0 lead and later added a run in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth while outhitting Villanova by an 11-3 margin.
In the bottom of the second inning the Scarlet Knights batted around and forced sophomore starter Pat Young (The Woodlands, Texas) to throw 49 pitches in the frame. Rutgers fouled off 19 pitches in the inning and continued to put pressure on Young (6-5, 4.39 ERA), who eventually allowed eight hits and four runs (three earned) while walking four and striking out two in 3 2/3 innings.
Pat Sweeney doubled home the first run of the game with one out in the second inning and Nick Favatella had an RBI single as part of the three-run inning. Favatella finished with two hits and two runs scored and Charlie Law went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.
Sophomore right fielder Connor Jones (Chandler, Ariz.) doubled with one out in the fifth inning for the Wildcats only extra-base hit of the game, while senior third baseman Kevin Wager (Holden, Mo.) and senior left fielder Matt Fleishman (East Northport, N.Y.) had the only other hits for Villanova in the contest.
Rob Smorol (8-3, 3.24 ERA) went the distance on the mound for the Scarlet Knights and walked just one while striking out three in the three-hitter. He allowed just two runners to reach scoring position in the entire game and both of those runners made it only as far as second base as the Wildcats went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
This is the first time since 2006 that Villanova has lost a series at Bainton Field, where it took two of three games in both the 2008 and 2010 seasons. Last year in Plymouth Meeting the Wildcats also won two of three games from Rutgers, their third straight series win between the two longtime rivals.
The final game of the series is still up for grabs and the teams will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, when sophomore Max Almonte (Long Beach, N.Y.) takes the hill.