PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA. 5/1/2018 – Some of the old sayings in baseball still have meaning. At bat ‘good eye’ and on the mound ‘throw strikes’ and that is what the Villanova Wildcats did in winning their first home game of the season 5 – 2 over the La Salle Explorers at the Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting. The first home victory was long in coming, and they can celebrate how they got the win.
“It’s been a long season and we have taken our lumps,” Villanova Coach Kevin Mulvey said. “It was a real team win. We pitched it well, we played defense well, and we swung it a little bit today. Anytime you can play all three facets of the game competitively, you’re going to be happy about it.”
At the Cats showed the good eye. The team received nine walks from the Explorer pitchers. Of the Wildcats who got a base on balls, five of them scored accounting for the offense that came in the middle innings. First baseman Ryan Toohers walked twice and scored twice. He leads the team with 25 walks. Good Eye. Catcher Doug deMarrais also received a free pass two times and crossed the plate twice. But it was more than walks that propelled the team. It was the patience to get them that was telling.
“If you look in the boxscore, you’ll see all the walks,” Mulvey said. “But it was more about being patient and getting your pitch. Anytime you can force the pitcher to throw more pitches and get the starter out of the game, the better off you are going to be. That is something we’ve been preaching all year, try to take as many pitches as you possibly can, extend the bat as long as you possibly can in order to get into the bullpen.”
La Salle starter Matt Patricio lasted 4 innings and threw 83 pitches. As a team the Explorers hurled the ball 157 times to 38 at the plate.
Villanova starter Jake Esp in 4.1 innings had a pitch count of 74. The Nova total was 144 pitches against 37 batters..
The Wildcats got 6 hits, designated hitter JP Radvany had a double as did right fielder Tyler Bruno.
Villanova pitchers also handed out six walks, but the damage was limited as the visitors got 5 hits, all singles, and left 9 on base. Reliever Zach Lutner held La Salle scoreless over 3.1 innings of work giving up one hit in getting his initial save of the year. Reliever Jonathan Rosero got the win, his first of the season. Throw Strikes. Center fielder Brian Dudek provided most of the offense getting 3 hits in 4 plate appearances. Explorers relief pitcher Greg Paprocki took the loss giving up 2 runs in two-thirds of an inning of work.
Nova (7 – 29) earned their second city win of the season, and have posted back to back Big Five Baseball wins. La Salle (14 – 30) last posted a local win nearly two weeks ago defeating Villanova at 20th and Olney. They have won twice in six outings against Philadelphia schools.
The long losing streak for the Wildcats is over as they took advantage of late chances.
“We preach battle, battle, battle, fight, fight, fight, and never give up,” said Mulvey. “We did a good job with that today. We had a lot of two out hits, two out walks, and a lot of two strike hits, walks that started out with two strikes. It is evident the way this game went that these guys are battling.”