Four in a row for ‘Nova

Dave Pedra

Villanova baseball returned from Easter break with new life, resurrected if you will. After commanding victories against La Salle on Tuesday and Coppin State Wednesday, the Wildcats have a winning record again (18-17).While many kids were searching for colored eggs last weekend in their yards, this week the players from La Salle and Coppin only found goose eggs in Villanova’s yard. The ‘Cats extended their scoreless innings streak to 22 after Wednesday’s game.

Whatever the ‘Cats gave up for Lent, they must have been happy to have it back, because they beat up La Salle and Coppin State hard. The La Salle game was highlighted by a 15 hit performance totaling 16 runs to sink the Explorers 16-0. Eleven different team members combined to bring in the runs, beginning with Ryan Arcadia in the lead with three for the afternoon. Ryan Wendler made his tax-deductible contributions to the win, striking out four, walking one, and only pitching to 23 batters over his seven innings of work. Every starter had a hit to defeat La Salle Tuesday, only adding to our ‘friendly’ relationship with Big 5 schools.

The Eagles from Coppin State were next on the block for the Wildcats; however we all know what happens when these two mascots fight; the ‘Cats always win. Wednesday was no exception to the rule, as Villanova poured in nine runs to stuff the birds 9-0. The pitching again for ‘Nova came through, using five different gun slingers to silence the bats of Coppin State. Jordan Ellis started the game, only allowing two hits over his five innings, and fanned seven batters. The next four innings were split between four different pitchers: Frank Jankowski, Bill Hoffman, Jake Wolff and Gus Guida. All five throwers combined for 12 strikeouts on the day, not leaving much of an opportunity for the Eagles to amass any offense. Villanova had no problem putting up big numbers. They scored four in the bottom of the first three innings and in the fifth they started giving batting lessons, adding five to their final total of nine. Arcadia had another big day with two hits and two RBIs, as did Matt McFolling who mirrored Arcadia’s numbers with two of each. Kris Molloy and Derek Shunk also swung the bat well, with three hits apiece. While the bullpen put together 12 K’s, the lineup spotted them 12 hits for the day, another impressive performance by the ‘Cats.

Villanova leaves its home this weekend for South Orange, N.J. to face Seton Hall. The Wildcats have a three game Big East conference series against the Pirates with an afternoon game Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seton Hall is 12-23 for the season, and 4-11 in the conference. Three wins against the Pirates could move Villanova up in the standings past Georgetown for the nine spot, since the Hoyas are 5-7 in the Big East. When the Wildcats return to campus they play two Big 5 schools, St. Joes and Temple, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon before heading down to West Virginia for another three game conference series on Novafest weekend. Villanova has been playing remarkably on both sides of the ball. Hopefully they can keep both acts up, or enough of either to pull out a lengthy second half of the season win streak.