‘Nova sweeps UConn

Kyle Laskowski

Sophomore Jim Gillin’s RBI double in the bottom of the seventh was the eventual game-winning hit for the ‘Cats against Connecticut on Sunday. The win capped a three-game series sweep of the Huskies and a 5-0 week for ‘Nova

The win marked the first three-game series sweep against a Big East opponent since 2001, when the ‘Cats swept Pittsburgh.

Starter Kevin Mulvey (2-1) held the Huskies scoreless until Mike Leonard hit an RBI double to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

Villanova answered quickly, as they have been doing all season, by adding two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning.

Junior Alan Day hit an RBI double, which scored Angelo Petracca to square the game at, 1-1.

Two batters later leftfielder Brian Newbold hit an RBI single up the middle, scoring Day to give the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead.

UConn’s Dave Tokarz would tie the game in the sixth inning, scoring on a wild pitch by Mulvey.

In the seventh ‘Nova found some late inning magic, again.

With senior Adrian Schau on second, Gillin ripped a fastball to left, scoring Schau. Then sophomore Kris Molloy doubled, scoring Gillin and giving the ‘Cats a 4-2 lead.

Relievers Mike Grodecki and Schau were able to shut the Huskies down in the final two innings, but not without a little scare.

Grodecki, who had a 1-2-3 eighth inning, walked the first two batters of the ninth.

Enter Schau.

Schau came on in relief and struck out the first two Husky batters he faced, and then got Tim Dempsey to ground out to second for the game’s final out.

Saturday’s doubleheader was dominated by Wildcat pitching.

In the first game, junior Nick Allen (2-0) threw a complete game, giving up only one run.

The ‘Cats took control of the game early. Newbold doubled to score senior Danny Poydenis, then Gillin had an RBI ground out to give ‘Nova a 2-0 lead.

They would extend the lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning when Schau scored on a RBI single by junior Mark Cardillo.

Allen would take control the rest of the game, surrendering only one run en route to a 3-1 Wildcat victory.

In the second game it would be a duo of Mikes that would secure the ‘Cats victory. Freshman Mike Loree (4-0) and senior Mike Ciccotelli combined to throw a six-hit shutout, paving the way for an 8-0 Wildcat rout.

Petracca, Newbold, Poydenis and Molloy all had a huge offensive game for ‘Nova, but the real story for the ‘Cats was their pitching.

Loree struck out six in five and two-thirds innings, and Ciccotelli picked up his second save of the year striking out four in three and a third innings.

The sweep of Connecticut came on the heels of two Big Five wins earlier in the week.

The victory’s came when the ‘Cats faced off against Saint Joseph’s and Temple.

The ‘Cats improved to 17-5 overall, but will have their work cut out for them this weekend when they go on the road to take on Big East rival and national power Notre Dame.