Villanova, Cornell split games

Kyle Laskowski

Junior Kelly Pickel singled in Brian Newbold in the bottom of the 11th inning on Sunday, to give the Wildcats an 8-7 win over Cornell. It was the third time the two teams had met in a little over eight days. They split the first two games of the season series.

The win improved the ‘Cats’ record to 12-5 on the young season.

Villanova trailed by one going into the 11th, but right fielder Alan Day got things started in the inning with a leadoff double to left field.

After he advanced to third, Brian Newbold hit a chopper to shortstop Matt Miller. Miller threw the ball wildly, and the error allowed Day to score the tying run, and Newbold to advance to second. Pickel then singled in Newbold for the win.

Wildcat starter Nick Allen helped the ‘Cats carry a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning. Cornell’s Kaleb Hitchonsin broke up the shutout when he scored on an RBI double by Jon Finch.

In the top of the eighth, Allen walked the first batter and was relieved by senior Mike Ciccotelli.

Ciccotelli surrendered a two-run single to Cornell first baseman William Pauly with two outs, tying the game at 3-3.

Not to be out-done, ‘Nova added two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits by Kris Molloy and Day, giving them a 5-3 lead.

In the ninth Adrian Schau was unable to hold onto the lead. An error by Angelo Petracca and an RBI single by Miller tied the game at 5-5. Both runs were unearned.

The score stayed that way until the 11th inning when Cornell’s Seth Gordon scored on an error by Petracca. That was followed by the ‘Cats’ heroics in the bottom of the inning.

On Saturday, ‘Nova met Saint Peter’s for a double header. The first game was dominated by Wildcat sophomore Kris Molloy, who helped the ‘Cats to a 10-4 win. Molloy went 3-3 and had a career-high four stolen bases, to accompany three runs scored and two RBI.

Freshman Mike Loree allowed just two runs in six innings and improved his record to 3-0.

Villanova never trailed in the contest, but put the game out of reach in the fourth inning. Day hit a two-run single to center to give the ‘Cats a 7-2 lead. The ‘Cats added three more runs in the next two innings to put the exclamation point on the victory.

Despite a late ninth inning rally, Villanova lost the second game of the doubleheader, 8-6.

It appeared as if starter Kevin Mulvey had the game under control, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, which seems to be a common occurrence for Wildcat starters this year.

But an eight run inning from St. Peter’s gave them a commanding five-run lead, and proved too big a deficit for the ‘Cats to overcome. Junior Michael Grodecki, the third Wildcat pitcher of the inning, was able to finally get the ‘Cats out of the inning.

Next up for ‘Nova is a weekend series against Fordham at the new ballpark in Plymouth Meeting. A showdown with rival Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday was postponed due to weather.