Baseball loses, wins, ties at invitational

Raynor Denitzio

The Villanova baseball team opened its season on Feb. 18 with a three game series in Savannah, Ga. at the Savannah State Invitational Tournament.

The ‘Cats opened with a tough loss to the host Tigers. Senior Nick Allen pitched five innings of shutout ball, holding the Tigers to only four hits and recording six strike-outs.

However, his counterpart was equally impressive as Savannah State starter Carlos Markyna gave up only two hits.

The game was tied 0-0 in the bottom of the eighth when Savannah State’s Rudy Rodriquez knocked in a runner from third off of sophomore Nate Hall to give the Tigers the lead. The Tigers added another run to take a 2-0 lead into the top of the ninth.

Markyna closed out the game to earn his second victory of the season.

In the next game, Villanova took on Virginia Tech. The ‘Cats jumped ahead early, as junior Kris Molloy scored on a double by Jeremy Hunt and Jim Gillin homered to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.

Tech struck back, scoring a run in the fourth and adding another in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Wildcat put the game out of reach for good in the bottom of the fifth as junior Craig Mirsky doubled home two runs to put the ‘Cats ahead 5-2.

Villanova starter Mike Loree struck out five and gave up only two runs in five innings of work to earn the win.

“I think we played really well,” said Loree. We had some big plays in center field by Kris (Molloy). I thought everyone played really well and hopefully we can build off of it.”

Senior Mike Grodecki came on in the ninth and put the Hokies down to record his first save of the season.

In the final game of the series, the ‘Cats faced off against the Midshipmen of Navy. After defense and pitching dominated the first two games of the series, this game featured a glut of offense, as the Wildcats and Midshipmen battled to a 10-10 tie.

Villanova jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first off of an Angelo Petracca home run. Navy responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second.

This set the tone for the day as each team battled back and forth.

The Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the third to take an 8-2 lead but were unable to hold it as the Midshipmen battled back with six runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game.

Villanova went ahead 10-8 with runs in the fourth and sixth, but Navy tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way and the game was called in the eighth due to time restraints.

The Villanova baseball team is in action again as they travel to take on Norfolk State in a three game series this weekend.