‘Nova baseball sweeps tourney

Daniel Madden

The Villanova Baseball Bash tournament has once again proven favorable to the Wildcats. After defeating Niagara 18-7 on Friday and Cleveland State 12-5 on Saturday, Villanova beat St. Peter’s 6-1 to go 3-0 in the tournament and 10-1 overall in the tournament’s history.

Behind redshirt freshman Matt Szczur’s three hits, including his first collegiate home run, and junior Kevin Crimmel’s seven innings on the mound, the Wildcats have improved to 9-6 for the season, giving them a seven-game winning-streak. After losing to North Carolina State in early March, Villanova has turned its season around.

While the game stayed close for the first three innings, Villanova jumped on St. Peter’s (2-13) in the fourth inning with Szczur’s solo homerun, capping a three-run inning. Szczur also scored the first run of the game, when he doubled with two outs in the third inning and scored on a bases loaded walk. He leads the team with a .385 batting average this season. Senior Kyle Carver got in on the fourth inning action as well with an RBI double, and redshirt freshman David Koczirka added an RBI single. Koczirka went 2-4 on the day and 7-12 in the three games of the tournament. He is batting .375 for the season.

The last two runs came from senior Joe Cotter. In both the fifth and seventh innings, he sent sacrifice flies to center field, capping off another strong Villanova hitting performance. The team had a total of 11 hits. The team had 17 hits against Niagara and then 12 more against Cleveland State. Senior Wesley Borden added two more hits, a walk and a run against St. Peter’s. Villanova has now beaten St. Peter’s the last four times they have played, including both ends of a doubleheader last season.

Crimmel pitched seven innings, only giving up five hits. He faced only three batters in the first and went on to retire 12 of the next 14. The sixth inning gave him the most trouble, but still the threat was still minimal. He only gave up a walk and a hit, eventually leading to one run. After walking, sophomore Sean McFadden advanced from first to third on junior Connor Mullee’s single. This up sophomore Brandon Edwards, who drove in McFadden on a sacrifice fly. Both Mullee and Edwards ended up with two hits apiece. Still, that was Crimmel’s only run as he improved to 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He finished with one walk and three strikeouts.

Carver then came in to pitch the final two innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out two. Villanova has pitched well during its winning streak and has given up no more than two runs in three of their last five home games. The opposing pitcher, St. Peter’s freshman Ethan Jackson, has not fared so well this season, as he dropped to 0-4 with a 7.88 ERA.

Villanova left eight men on base and St. Peter’s stranded five. Both teams also committed one error apiece. The Wildcats walked six times and struck out four times, while the Peacocks had two and five, respectively.

The Wildcats travel to Queens, N.Y., for three games against St. John’s this weekend.