Villanova Baseball Rallies from Four Down, Prevails in Ninth at Rutgers
May 21, 2004
PISCATAWAY, NJ - Down 4-0 after the first six innings, the Villanova baseball team scored seven runs in the seventh, saw Rutgers tie the game in the eighth, but prevailed 8-7, as the Wildcats plated the winning run with two outs in the ninth. With Villanova's win Friday afternoon in Piscataway, the `Cats improved to 29-20-1 overall on the season and 9-14 in the Big East. Rutgers fell to 30-21 overall and 13-9 in conference action with the loss.
Rutgers struck first, when Colin Gaynor singled up the middle with two outs in the third, scoring Graig Badger, who reached on a one-out single, and Jeff Grose, who followed with a walk. Leading 2-0, Jeff Frazier crushed a two-run home run in the fifth, scoring Grose to give the Scarlet Knights a 4-0 lead.
Egbert, who retired the first six batters of the game and was seemingly in control, allowed a leadoff single to Brian Newbold and hit Adrian Schau to start the seventh, setting the table for Alan Day, who singled to center to score Newbold. An infield single loaded the bases for pinch-hitter Frank Cirone, who grounded out to short but drove in another run. A walk to nine-spot hitter Mark Cardillo re-loaded the bases for Kris Malloy, who lofted a sacrifice fly to right, cutting the lead to 4-3. RU head coach Fred Hill went to his bullpen for junior Tom Malafronte. Malafronte allowed a bloop single to center by Angelo Petracca to tie the game and a two-run single to Newbold, his second hit of the inning, to give Villanova a 6-4 lead. An infield error allowed the seventh and final run of the frame to score before Erik Dial induced a pop-out to end the inning.
Rutgers fought back with a single run in the bottom of the inning when Jason Grover and Badger led off with singles and Rich Canuso dumped a single into shallow right after a two-out walk to Frazier. In the eighth, Rutgers tied the game with two more runs. Nick Cerulo opened with a single to right-center and then raced to third when Jeff Miller's groundball rolled through the legs of shortstop Brian Trotta. With runners at the corners and one out, Grover stung a single to right-center, cutting the lead to 7-6, and Badger beat out a double play ball at first, allowing Miller to score.
In the top of the ninth, Dial walked Petracca with one out and, with two outs, balked him into scoring position. RU elected to intentionally walk Newbold, who had singled in his previous two at bats, to set up the force at any base. Adrian Schau, hitless in his three previous at bats, singled to left and Petracca beat Grose's throw to the plate for the eventual winning run. Rutgers was set down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth by Ted Aust, who provided the Wildcats with 1.2 perfect innings to improve to 5-0.
** 2004 RUTGERS BASEBALL ** Villanova at Rutgers May 21, 2004 at Piscataway, NJ (Class of 53 Complex)