Baseball wins 1 at USF, beats Temple

Jon Albert

 The baseball team managed to put an end to its Big East losing streak this weekend but still dropped the first two games of their weekend series with the South Florida Bulls. The ‘Cats (21-16, 3-12 Big East) were able to pick up a win in the final game of the road series, 10-7, but fell in the first two games of the three-game set, 5-0 and 7-2.

Saturday’s game began with a bit more optimism after junior Dain Hall hit his first home run of the season in the first inning.  However, three USF runs in the bottom half of the inning would be all the Bulls would need to hold on for their second straight victory.  

Sophomore Kyle Helisek gave up three more runs in the third inning to expand the deficit to 6-1, and the ‘Cats simply could not muster enough on offense to overcome the Bulls. Sophomore Kevin Wager had a season-high three hits, as well as an RBI, to pace the Wildcats. 

The ‘Cats managed to salvage the final game of the weekend series on Sunday, as well as stop their conference losing streak at 12 games. Much like Saturday’s game, the ‘Cats were able to get on the board first, when a single by catcher Chris Johnson drove in senior centerfielder Justin Bencsko to score the game’s first run.  This time, however, the ‘Cats did not relinquish the lead. Hall picked up his second double of the game, this one of the two RBI variety, in the second inning, and Szczur drove him in with an RBI single of his own to build the lead to 4-0. Hall finished with three doubles on the day.

After two runs against Wildcat starting pitcher Kyle McMyne cut the lead to 4-2, the ‘Cats responded in the form of a two RBI single from Wager to build the lead back up to 6-2. Wager had a tremendous series, going 6-for-12 with four runs batted in. Wager is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak and was recognized by being named to the weekly Big East Honor Roll. It was his first Honor Roll recognition.

The Wildcats had an easier time against city-rival Temple on Tuesday. Villanova won 17-10 and was fueled by Szczur’s cycle. The outfielder hit a single in the seventh inning to cap off the feat and a perfect day at the plate. He had a career high five RBIs. In total, Villanova tallied 19 hits and led by a score of 14-1 through five innings. 

Freshman starter Kevin MacLachlan was throwing a gem until things turned in the sixth. He gave up four runs in the inning and was pulled with the team leading 14-5. Villanova was able to hold on.

While there were several things that came out of the game, the story was Szczur. He continued to lead the team in impressive fashion. Szczur has reached base in 34 of 35 games this season