Baseball off to sluggish 2-12 start, Wofford up next



Kevin Gamgort

The Wildcats look to get back on track in an upcoming three game series against the Wofford Terriers at Villanova Ballpark. 

The ‘Cats have gotten off to a sluggish start and are 2-12 heading into the weekend. On the other hand, the Terriers enter the series with a 10-13 record. 

The 2016-2017 Wildcats are led by first year coach Kevin Mulvey, a familiar face in the community. Mulvey was once a standout pitcher for the Wildcats and reached the majors at the pinnacle of his career. For the past few years, he has served as the team’s leading assistant before being promoted to head coach. 

On the back of a 9-1 loss against Saint Joseph’s, the pressure is on to bounce back. This upcoming series is the perfect opportunity for the ‘Cats to recoup and change the course of their season.

Senior Todd Czinege has been a starter since freshman year and currently leads the Wildcats with a .351 batting average. He is a three-time all-BIG EAST selection and one of this year’s top Big East draft prospects. Czinege is a leader both on and off the field and an excellent role model for the underclassman. 

On the mound, the Wildcats are led by senior pitcher Hunter Schryver. He is another MLB Draft prospect and is a candidate for BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year. Schryver has a 1-3 record with a team best 2.45 ERA. He was awarded first team All-BIG-EAST honors last season, the first Villanova pitcher to accomplish this since Dan Boublis did in 1998. Earlier this month, Schryver earned a spot on the BIG EAST Honor Roll, as he tossed seven spectacular innings in a 10-1 victory over Iowa. 

The emergence and impact of freshman Tyler Bruno is a promising site for the future of Villanova baseball. Bruno attended Parkland High School in Allentown, Pa, where he earned three varsity letters as a standout second baseman. He has started 13 of 14 games this season and his batting average (.288) is the second highest on the team. Although his time at Villanova has been brief so far, his contributions have been invaluable. 

In the competitive BIG EAST Conference, the St. John’s Red Storm possesses the best overall record at 15-2. Unfortunately, the Wildcats find themselves at the bottom of the conference at the moment. However, conference play has yet to begin so they have plenty of time to improve upon this. 

Last year, the Xavier Musketeers won the BIG EAST Conference Baseball Tournament and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Division 1 Tournament. St. John’s leads the BIG EAST Conference with 8 total championships. Although the Wildcats have yet to win a BIG EAST Championship, the program has a bright future. With conference play around the corner, it is vital that the Wildcats build momentum heading into crunch time.