Baseball’s gamble in Vegas ends up bankrupt

James Evans

’Nova baseball is off to one of its worst starts ever with a record of 1-7.

On March 4, the baseball team capped off its eight game road trip on high note. Even though they lost 4-2, many positives came out of the game.

The star for the ’Cats was junior pitcher Adrian Schau who struck out a career-high nine batters, while going almost eight innings against North Carolina State.

Of the four runs that were scored against Schau, two of them were unearned, as early errors led to runs for the Wolfpack.

North Carolina left fielder Matt Camp reached on an infield single, but an errant throw by Schau allowed Camp to go to second and later he scored on a sacrifice fly, giving the Pack 1-0 lead in the first.

Schau in top of the fourth made up for his error, as he singled up the middle allowing Chris Graziano to score. He came home, when Freddie Thon doubled him in, to tie the game at two.

In the eighth Schau reached his max, after retiring the first two batters on fly balls, Schau hit the next batter and then walked the following batter.

Mike Ciccotelli then relieved Schau and allowed a single that scored a run.

Then the next batter hit a hot shot to shortstop Brian Trotta, who threw wide of Ryan Crammar at first allowing another runner to score, giving the Pack the lead for good.

The ’Cats only win of the early season came against Hofstra on Feb. 28. Villanova jumped off to an early lead, as catcher Greg Fater walked and then moved to second when Graziano had a bunt single.

Then Danny Poydenis layed down a sacrafice bunt, but was rewarded first base, when the umpire ruled there was interference by Hofstra’s first baseman.

After Mitch Mitchell hit a sacrafice fly, Shau cleared the bases when he blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence. Mitchell then extended the ’Cats lead to 6-0 when he doubled home two in the top of the fourth.

The ’Cats offense was not done, as Fater tripled home Trotta in the seventh and after a Graziano walk, Poydenis came to the plate and delievered, launching a three run bomb over the left field fence.

Sophomore Nick Allen pitched six innings of solid ball, holding the Hofstra Pride to only allowing one run and striking out five batters. Joe McCoy and James Russell came on to clean up the rest of the game.

The trip to Las Vegas was one that the ’Cats would like to forget. They went into Sin City looking to strike big, but came home empty-handed.

The schedule had the ’Cats slated to taking on UNLV in weekend series. Villanova started off strong, as it jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the first game.

However, UNLV came right back and scored six, to take the lead at the bottom of the inning. The ’Cats would never be able to scratch off another run, as UNLV cruised to an easy 19-4 win.

The next day the ’Cats once again took an early lead, as they scored two runs. In the first inning Brian Newbold lined a RBI single to center to score Schau and in the third the ’Cats got a little dangerous.

Head coach Joseph Godri called for a suicide squeeze, as Fater laid down a bunt and Poydenis scored from third.

The daring call gave the ’Cats some confidence; however it would soon fade as the Rebels scored four of their own runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Rebels then blew out the game wide open and eventually cruised to a 21-7 victory, scoring 10 runs in the last two innings.

The final game of the three-game series was closer then the final score would make one believe.

Though the ’Cats lost 14-0, they played tough in the first couple of innings, on allowing single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth, as the Rebels jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. However, the Rebels would once again score late in the game to pull away with it, as they scored 10 runs in final two innings.

After tough road trips to both Las Vegas and North Carolina, ’Nova hoped to christen its new ballpark in Plymouth Meeting with a couple of wins, but due to wet field conditions the ’Cats had to postpone this past weeks games. However, the games scheduled for Saturday at 1p.m. and Sunday at noon, will be played.