BSEBL: Panthers sweep by ‘Cats in conference brawl

Max Petrunya

Villanova traveled to Pittsburgh this weekend for a Big East matchup in which the Wildcats were swept by the Panthers in a three-game series.

Senior Mike Loree was credited with the Wildcat loss in game one on Friday night at Tree’s Field in Pittsburgh. Villanova lost 11-6, despite Loree retiring 11 of the first 13 batters he faced and the Wildcat offense producing four home runs in the opening game of the weekend series. Going yard for the Wildcats were juniors Ryan Arcadia and Dan Terpak, sophomore Joe Cotter and senior Jim Gillen. The Wildcats shut down the Panthers in the first three innings before going on to let up 11 runs in five innings in a losing effort. By throwing just over five total innings on Friday, Loree is just over 13 innings away from breaking Villanova’s career innings-pitched record. This weekend’s game now gives Loree a total of 284 collegiate innings pitched.

Junior Ryan Wendler was charged with the loss in two and two-thirds innings for Villanova in game two on Saturday, when the Wildcats lost 8-7 to the Panthers, surrendering three earned runs while walking three and striking out three. Villanova held Pittsburgh scoreless for the final five innings but couldn’t equal the eight runs the Panthers scored in the second and third innings. Junior Bill Hoffman was outstanding in relief for Villanova, throwing five and one-third scoreless innings and allowing three hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Villanova only managed to get one run in the final six innings of a game that saw Terpak go 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. Terpak hit his second home run in as many games on Saturday and finished just one single short of hitting for the cycle.

In game three, the Wildcats again dropped a close one to their Big East opponent, as Pittsburgh edged out Villanova 6-5. Junior Jordan Ellis started for the Wildcats, but it was senior Nate Hall who was credited with the loss, despite facing just two batters and not giving up any earned runs. Again, the Wildcats scored runs early against the Panthers but were shut down in the closing innings of the weekend series. After a Pittsburgh rally in the sixth that put the Panthers on top 6-5, Villanova only managed to get three runners on base for the rest of the contest.

With the losses this weekend, Villanova’s record drops to 5-10 in the Big East, 18-18 for the season. The Wildcats now sit in 10th place in the Big East, tied with Seton Hall and ahead of last-place Georgetown by only two games. Pittsburgh’s sweep at Tree’s Field keeps the Wildcats winless on the road in conference games this season. Dating back to last season, the Wildcats have lost nine straight Big East road games and 12 of their last 13. Villanova heads to Cincinnati this weekend for a three-game series against the Bearcats.