May 21, 2011
JAMAICA, N.Y. - In the 2011 season finale three pitches combined to pitch a two-hitter and Villanova (20-32, 7-20 BIG EAST) mounted a late rally in the ninth inning but ultimately succumbed to St. John's (32-18, 18-8 BIG EAST) by a final score of 3-1 at Jack Kaiser Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The only runs for the Red Storm came home during a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth inning in the finale of an evenly played three-game series between the two teams.
Down to their final outs and trailing 3-0 the Wildcats did not go quietly in the ninth, as a pair of walks to start the inning set the table for a potential rally. Junior shortstop Marlon Calbi (Montclair, N.J.) scored on a wild pitch with still nobody out and the bases were eventually loaded with one away before St. John's reliever Matt Carasiti set down the final two batters of the contest.
Junior starting pitcher Kyle McMyne (Old Forge, Pa.) was nearly unhittable through the early innings, striking out one batter in each of the first five innings and not allowing a hit until there was one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. That hit - a soft liner to center by Paul Karmas - wound up being the only hit McMyne (4-8, 4.75 ERA) surrendered to the 23 batters that he faced.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, however, he walked the first four batters of the inning and the last base on balls in that stretch forced in the first run of the game. Junior reliever Julian Diaz (Trenton, N.J.) came in and was greeted with a two-run single up the middle by pinch hitter Rowan Wick before settling down to escape the inning with no additional damage done.
Starting pitcher Sean Hagan (5-2, 4.85 ERA) pitched into the ninth inning for the Red Storm and allowed five hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out four. He departed after walking the first two hitters in the ninth and Carasiti eventually finished off the game.
McMyne wound up being charged with all three earned runs while walking eight and striking out five in his 14th and final start of the season. He logged 77 2/3 innings for Villanova on the year and ranked near the top of the BIG EAST pitching statistics with 94 strikeouts for the year. He also allowed just 77 hits and held opponents to a .256 batting average against him.
The three seniors for the Wildcats - designated hitter Dain Hall (Barrington, Ill.), third baseman David Koczirka (Thornton, Pa.) and closer Mike Francisco (Newtown Square, Pa.) - all contributed in the final game of the season. Hall and Koczirka each had hits for Villanova and Francisco threw a scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth in his final collegiate outing.
Over the past four years the senior class was a part of 101 victories for the Wildcats and both Hall and Francisco graduate with their places secure in the Villanova record book. Francisco set the program's career records for saves and appearances this season, while Hall ends his Wildcat career ranked in the program's top 10 in six different categories, including second in games played (208) and seventh in hits (211). He is also one of just four players in program history with at least 200 career hits and 100 career walks. Earlier this season, all three seniors played a pivotal role in leading Villanova to its fifth title in the Liberty Bell Classic with a 7-6 win over Delaware at Citizens Bank Park in the championship game.