Rough week dashes hopes for Big East postseason play

Frankie Thon

Now entering the final month of its season, the baseball team hopes to ride its back-to-back wins and finish the year on a positive note after a rough stretch.

The ‘Cats endured yet another tough week, dropping seven in a row, while also losing hopes of getting to the Big East postseason.

Despite the losses, the team did manage to pick up a win in each of its last two of games, the latter of which showed an offensive display the coaching staff expected from the team all year long.

Tuesday, the Wildcats hosted Temple in what turned out to be nothing more than a hitting clinic put on by the home team.

As Nick Allen (3-5) cruised to his third win of the season, the offensive unit went to work against the Owls’ pitching staff. The ‘Cats scored 15 runs on 15 hits on their way to an easy 15-2 victory that improved their record to 9-24.

Several ‘Cats enjoyed outstanding performances including, senior leftfielder Brian Newbold, who went 4-for-4 with three doubles, four runs scored and four RBIs. Another senior, Mitch Mitchell, also had four RBIs in the game, going 3-for-4 with a double.

The story of the game, however, may have come from centerfielder Chris Graziano. Not only did Graziano go 3-for-4 with four runs scored, he also stole the milestone 100th base of his career.

Last Saturday, the ‘Cats welcomed the Red Storm of St. John’s in a Big East doubleheader that ended in a split.

The first game of the doubleheader was not so kind to the ‘Cats. They suffered a 12-6 loss in a game that saw the Red Storm take advantage of their 16 hits to pull away from what was at one point a 5-4 score.

Alan Day was the offensive highlight for the ‘Cats as the right-fielder put up a two-triple and two-RBI effort for the losing team.

The second game of the doubleheader finally allowed the Wildcats to break their 10-game losing skid, while in the meantime getting their offense back on track.

Graziano and the rest of the ‘Cats’ offensive unit helped to complement a great outing by starter James Baxter (2-1), who went a strong six, allowing only two runs and striking out seven.

This led the Wildcats to a 10-5 victory over the Red Storm, whose record dropped to 19-18. Graziano went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two stolen bases, one run scored and a four RBIs.

Two days before playing St. John’s, the Wildcats dropped a doubleheader to Big East rival Seton Hall.

On a day clouded by an unseasonably cold weather, the Pirates of delivered a heartbreaking 12th inning loss to the ‘Cats.

With two outs in the top of the 12th, the Pirates managed to mount a rally and put two runs on the board. The Wildcats were then unable to answer in the bottom of the inning.

In game two, Pirates starter Mike Santmyer pitched a complete game and struck out 10 in route to a comfortable 9-1 victory.

Although the ‘Cats’ offense was pretty much quiet all day, senior Mitch Mitchell did manage to go 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Prior to the Seton Hall doubleheader, the ‘Cats had dropped a three game series to the Pittsburgh Panthers as well as a single meeting to the Quakers of Penn.

Thursday ‘Nova took on the Atlantic City Surf, but the results were unavailble as of press time.

The Wildcats will get back into action this weekend when they host the Georgetown Hoyas in a three-game series. The first pitch of the series will be Saturday at noon.