Baseball: ‘Cats take one in weekend series against UConn

Corey Marine

The weekend series against the UConn Huskies proved to be a mixed bag for the Wildcats. The baseball team went 1-2 on the weekend, losing the series opener 12-1, winning the second game 7-2 and losing the closer 8-3 on its road trip at J.O. Christian Field.

The Wildcats’ offensive struggles continued during the first game on March 28, as they lost 12-1. Innings two through four were troublesome as the ‘Cats surrendered all 12 runs during this period. They gave up two runs in the second, four in the third and six in the fourth. Senior Jordan Ellis surrendered 10 runs over 3 1/3 innings of work on the mound.

Senior shortstop Derek Shunk brought in Villanova’s only run in the top of the fourth. Multiple pitchers were able to hold the Huskies in check, shutting them out after the fourth inning.

‘Nova’s bats woke up in the second game of the series on March 29, scoring seven runs. Villanova had seven hits and drew nine walks in the game, rallying behind sophomore pitcher Brian Streilein’s eight strong innings of work.

Junior catcher Wesley Borden hit a three-run homerun in the top of the fourth, and the ‘Cats never looked back. Junior center fielder Joe Cotter, senior right fielder James Dolbier and Shunk also brought in runs.

Streilein walked two and struck out five while surrendering two unearned over his career-high eight innings.

The 7-2 win snapped a six-game losing streak and was the Wildcats’ first Big East win of the season.

In the last game, early troubles proved to be too much to overcome as red-shirt freshman pitcher Chris Pack surrendered five runs in 0.2 innings of work, four of which unearned. Villanova tried to pick away at the early lead, scoring three runs, but were unable to keep up with the Huskies’ bats, which also earned three runs after the first inning. Pack was charged with his third loss on the season as the Wildcats fell to 8-15 (1-5 Big East).

The Wildcats began a 12-game home stint over 16 days on Tuesday against La Salle. Villanova defeated the Explorers by a score of 10-9, behind the clutch hitting of senior Ryan Arcadia. Arcadia hit a walk-off single in the bottom of ninth inning to break a tie and give the Wildcats the victory.

Junior Joe Cotter added two Villanova home runs in the victory over La Salle; the effort was the first time that any player, home or visiting, who had hit multiple homers in Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.