Baseball Wins Three Against Butler


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova’s record improved to 9-25 after winning three against Butler.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

This past week, Villanova’s baseball team played against Butler for a four-game set, of which only three were played.

Against the Bulldogs, Villanova won the first three games, putting up 10 or more runs in each game.

This three-game sweep improved the Wildcats’ record to 9-25, and placed them fifth in conference play.

The first game set the tone for the rest of the weekend, as Villanova secured a 13-9 victory.

The first few innings went scoreless, but then Villanova had a four-run inning highlighted by homers from senior first baseman Jack O’Reilly and graduate student catcher Will Reiner.

O’Reilly had a strong overall performance at the plate, going 2-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk.

Freshman second baseman Michael Whooley continued his hot streak of hitting in this inning as well, roping an RBI double. He finished 3-5 with two RBI’s, including a crucial RBI triple.

After this inning, the scoring continued for both teams as Butler had a huge, seven-run sixth inning to take the lead, but the Wildcats bounced back immediately with a four-run inning of their own.

Villanova went on to score three more runs, completing its first victory of the weekend.

Despite allowing nine runs, there were some strong pitching performances in this matchup.

Junior Cade Udell threw four shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Graduate student Stephen Turzai was awarded the win after throwing 1.2 innings and allowing only three hits and zero runs.

Grad student Sal Fusco followed this performance with a 2.1 inning save, in which he allowed three hits and one unearned run.

On Saturday, April 15th, it was more of the same when the Wildcats took the next two games from Butler.

The ‘Cats won the first game, 10-2, in what was a dominant display of offense and defense.

Junior Pitcher Devin Rivera continued his strong pitching in this game, by throwing seven innings and allowing only two runs on five hits with four strikeouts.

This would go on to be more than enough for Villanova to secure the win. On the offensive side, O’Reilly once again opened the game with his second homer of the series, this time in the first.

Michael Whooley also had a strong performance, going 4-6 with an RBI single. Senior catcher John Whooley also played well, going 2-4, including an RBI triple in which he scored, as well, on a throwing error.

“I’m proud of the mental and physical toughness to play through pain and injury,” head coach Kevin Mulvey said. “We put the team first, giving us a chance to win.” 

This mindset seemed to be carried over into the final game, in which the Wildcats won, 18-15.

The best two hitting performances came from graduate student shortstop Craig Larsen and John Whooley.

Larsen went 4-5 with three RBIs and Whooley went 2-5 with five RBIs, including a three-RBI triple in the ninth that would prove to be the difference in the final score.

There was some trouble with the pitching in this game, as the Wildcats used a lot of arms. Despite allowing 15 runs, the ‘Cats continued to battle.

Fusco ended up with the win after throwing 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on two hits with one strikeout.

Great weekend from the team,” Mulvey said. “I’m very happy and proud. Although the pitching wasn’t perfect, we battled all weekend.”

With the successful weekend behind them, the Wildcats look ahead to their upcoming games as play  Xavier in a three-game series at home, starting on Friday, April 21st.