Baseball Goes 1-2 In Hard-Fought Weekend


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova picked up their first win of the season this weekend against UNF.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

This past weekend, Villanova’s baseball team headed down to Jacksonville, Florida, where it went 1-2 against the University of North Florida in a three-game set. 

The first game took place on Friday, February 24, when Villanova secured its first win of the season in a close 2-1 victory that came down to the pitching and defense.  

The Wildcats put up the first run of the game in the second inning, due to a fielder’s choice by senior catcher John Whooley. Senior first baseman Jack O’Reilly went on to give Villanova its second run in the fourth inning after hitting a deep double. O’Reilly finished the game, 2-3, with a walk, one RBI and one run scored, proving to be the standout hitter in a game that didn’t involve much offense.

Grad student pitcher Sal Fusco got the start, and he went for the first two innings, allowing one hit and recording two strikeouts. Senior pitcher Chic DeGaetano earned the win after replacing Fusco. He pitched well for 3.1 innings, recording one strikeout and allowing one run on four hits. 

The pitching staff allowed no more runs for the rest of the game. Junior pitcher Patrick Montfort was also awarded a 2.1 inning save as he shut the Ospreys down with his four strikeouts and only one hit allowed. 

The defense proved to be the crucial factor of this victory as they made some key plays down the stretch. 

“[It was a] great win,” head coach Kevin Mulvey said. “[It was a] great bounce back especially from the pitching staff. Offensively we did not execute the plan, but we played great defensively throughout the whole weekend.”  

While the Wildcats walked away from Friday’s game with high hopes for the weekend, they were met with disappointment as they fell to the Ospreys, 13-11, on Saturday.

This was an action-packed game filled with some huge home runs on both sides. Freshman center fielder Collin Quintano got the scoring started with a two-run blast in the second inning. This was Quintano’s first collegiate home run on a day where he finished 2-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. 

Grad Student shortstop Craig Larsen kept this trend going in the following inning when he hit a solo homer. He went on to have the best performance of the day for the Wildcats as he finished 3-5 with four RBIs. 

However, despite their offensive efforts, including another homerun from O’Reilly, Villanova couldn’t come back from the 9-6 lead. 

The Villanova pitching staff allowed nine runs with no errors from the defense.   

The last game of the weekend was on Sunday, where the Wildcats fell again to the Ospreys, losing, 9-7. 

Villanova scored one run in the second inning off a Larsen single, marking the first run of the game. Larsen had another huge performance, going 3-5 with one RBI. 

The Wildcats made it competitive all game partly due to homers from Grad Student left fielder Luke Mutz and junior second baseman Cameron Hassert. 

Mutz filled the stat sheet, going 1-1 with four walks, two RBIs and three runs scored. Hassert made a great overall contribution as well as he went 2-5 with three RBIs. 

The pitching staff once again was disappointing as nobody gave a standout performance. The best outing came from starter Fusco, who opened another game with two innings. He allowed one run on one hit with three strikeouts. 

It’s no secret that Fusco has been used in a unique way this season. 

“That’s how we used him the first weekend as well,” Mulvey said. “[We are] hoping to get him comfortable with starting and getting ahead of hitters. Hoping he can settle into the role of opener or settle in and go [five or more] innings and become a traditional starter.” 

While the weekend came with two tough losses, Villanova did pick up their first win of the season, and is now 1-5. 

After playing Towson on Wednesday, March 1, the Wildcats will head to California for the first portion of spring break, as they will take on the University of San Francisco in a three-game weekend series.