May 19, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - In its final game of the 2012 season Villanova (28-27, 10-17 BIG EAST) lost to Rutgers (31-23, 16-11 BIG EAST) by a final score of 10-8 at Bainton Field on Saturday afternoon. The final tally of 28 wins for the season matches the third most in a year under head coach Joe Godri, who led his Wildcats to more than 25 victories with at least a .500 record for the eighth time in 11 years.
Villanova gradually built a 3-0 lead in the game behind single runs that were scored in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings but the Scarlet Knights recorded all of their offense in a 10-run seventh inning which put the Wildcats into a 10-3 deficit.
There was never a chance that Villanova was going to go down quietly and five runs in the top of the eighth inning trimmed the Rutgers lead to 10-8, with the tying run coming to the plate with one out. From that point in the game however, the Scarlet Knights were able to record the final five outs while preventing the Wildcats from cutting into the lead any further.
Every batter in the Villanova lineup had at least one hit in the game and the Wildcats finished with eight runs on 12 hits after being held to a total of just one run in the first two games of this weekend's series. Senior third baseman Kevin Wager (Holden, Mo.) and junior left fielder Steve Schrenk (Brigantine, N.J.) each had two hits and drove in two runs, while senior center fielder Jordan Zech (Naples, Fla.) had an RBI single and scored two runs.
Sophomore starting pitcher Max Almonte (Long Beach, N.Y.) turned in his best start of the season and carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning. He wound up going 6 1/3 innings and surrendered just four hits while striking out four and walking one. He was charged with three runs (two earned), with two of those runs not crossing home plate until after he was out of the game.
Rutgers starting pitcher Ryan Fasano (6-5, 3.39 ERA) allowed three earned runs on eight hits in seven innings of work and was the pitcher of record on the winning side as a result of the Scarlet Knights big bottom of the seventh inning. Villanova piled four hits and five runs on the Rutgers bullpen over the final two innings and was in the game until the final out. The game ended on a hard line drive by senior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) which was drilled towards right-center field before a leaping catch ended accounted for the final out.
The end of the 2012 season marks the end of the collegiate careers of a special Villanova senior class, which won 99 games while wearing a Wildcats uniform and were each key members of the team for four years. Among their accomplishments are winning the Liberty Bell Classic title in both 2010 and 2011 and leading Villanova to a 2012 regular season which was one of the most exciting in recent memory.