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Baseball Goes 1–2 Against Davidson

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Graduate pitcher Zach Camp earned the save in Villanova’s 13–2 win over Davidson on Sunday.

Villanova went 1–2 against Davidson on Feb. 23–25, bringing its overall record to 1–5.

The first two games were tough losses for Villanova, as it fell just short in both. The opening game on Friday was an offensive battle. The score was 11–8, Davidson. The Wildcats then dropped another close one on Saturday by a score of 5–3.

The disappointing losses didn’t seem to discourage the ‘Cats heading into their last game of the series on Sunday. They earned a 13–2, victory in what was head coach Kevin Mulvey’s 100th win in his career at Villanova.

“I just take it game by game and day by day,” Mulvey said. “I love it here and I’m happy to be the coach of my alma mater.”

Although the Wildcats hoped to win the series, they finished it off with a promising victory that meant a lot to Mulvey.

Villanova started hot on Friday, scoring two runs in the first inning, headlined by an RBI double from graduate first baseman Jack O’Reilly. He finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks on the day.

Davidson took over from there, scoring nine unanswered runs heading into the eighth inning. Villanova seemed to be in danger of a blowout loss to start the weekend, but managed to fight its way back with six runs in the top half of the inning. 

The Wildcats then allowed two more runs, bringing the score to 11-8 as they had their last opportunity at the plate. Villanova couldn’t complete the comeback.

It was a terrific day at the plate for graduate catcher Jason Neff, who went 3-for-5, with one walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. He was a major reason that the Wildcats stayed close in the game.

Seven pitchers made appearances in the loss. Graduate Alec Sachais started the game. Sachais pitched the first two innings, recording two strikeouts, no walks and only allowed two runs on three hits. 

The next pitcher to come in was freshman Jake Francis. Francis had a solid outing, with one strikeout, three walks and one run on two hits across 1.2 innings. Despite this, Francis was credited with the loss, as the offense never managed to gain the lead back.

Graduate student Zach Camp had the best pitching performance of the day, tossing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, allowing one hit and a walk. Camp has been a dominant option out of the bullpen to start the season.

Saturday’s action saw a much cleaner game. Davidson started off with a 2–0 lead that stuck until the fourth inning. The Wildcats then took a 3–2 lead after the fifth inning, sparked by a two-run home run from O’Reilly.

That was all the scoring Villanova could muster, as Davidson would regain the lead and finish with a 5–3 victory.

Saturday showed the strongest performance from the pitching staff at this point in the season, allowing five runs. Graduate student Rian Schwede started the first four innings with five strikeouts, no walks and three runs allowed on six hits. 

Senior Devin Rivera came into a tied ball game. Rivera recorded six strikeouts and allowed one walk, two runs and four hits across four innings. Rivera was credited with the loss.

“Both [Schwede and Rivera] pitched well, but just not enough to force a win,” Mulvey said. “We are still looking for big-time outs. There were some outs in crucial spots, but we’re not getting that shutdown inning.”

In the last game of the series, the Wildcats won, 13–2, in seven innings. 

The ‘Cats had a 3-2 lead going into the sixth inning and took full control of the game, scoring 10 runs in the last two innings. Several players had an offensive impact in this one, stuffing the stat sheet.

O’Reilly went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, continuing his strong weekend. Graduate student outfielder Scott Shaw went 2-for-4, including a two-RBI home run in the last inning. Freshman second baseman Trent Toole also had a huge impact, going 1-for-2 with two walks and three RBIs.

The pitching staff continued to improve, allowing a season-low two runs. Sachais was given the win after pitching one scoreless and hitless inning with two strikeouts. Senior Cade Udell dominated out of the bullpen with a three-inning save, recording four strikeouts and no runs or hits. 

“Hopefully we can grab onto this momentum and find that confidence,” Mulvey said.

The Wildcats will head to California for another three-game series against Loyola Marymount University March 1 through March 3.

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