PLYMOUTH TWP., Pa. – Pinch runner Theron Schilling came in to score on a squeeze bunt by Villanova’s Doug deMarrais in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Wildcats topped the Saint Joseph’s baseball team, 8-7, at Villanova Ballpark on Tuesday afternoon.
With the Hawks trailing 7-6, Jimmy Kingsbury came on to pitch the ninth for the Wildcats and allowed a leadoff single, but induced a double play ball to bring Liam Bendo to the plate. He hit a high chopper that Kingsbury fielded, but the throw to first was off line and Bendo scampered to second.
James McConnon then drew a four-pitch walk to bring Nate Thomas to the plate; he hit a ball up the middle that shortstop Dylan McNary mishandled. Bendo came around to score and send the game to extra innings.
The teams traded zeroes in the 10th before the Wildcats pulled off the squeeze play in the 11th to win it.
Saint Joseph’s (12-18) opened the scoring in the top of the first as Brendan Hueth led off with a single, stole second, and eventually came in to score on a groundout by McConnon.
The Wildcats went ahead in the home half of the inning, scoring four times on a hit, two walks, and two hit batsmen.
JP Radvany then led off the third for Villanova (8-22) with a solo home run to extend the VU lead to 5-1.
The Hawks mounted a charge in top half of the fourth, scoring five times to take the lead. Thomas drew a one out walk before Andrew Cossetti ripped a two-out home run to left to cut the deficit in half.
Jake Artz and Langston Livingston then followed with consecutive doubles to make it a 5-4 game before a four-pitch walk to Matt Cuppari and a fielding error loaded the bases. Bendo then sent a line drive over the shortstop’s head to score Livingston and Cuppari and put the Hawks ahead, 6-5.
The Wildcats drew level in the fifth, however, as Nick Lorusso led off with a triple and scored on a two-out infield single by Timothy Lilly.
Villanova took the lead in the bottom of the eighth as Chris Rotondo hit a two-out double and Lorusso singled up the middle to make it a 7-6 game and set up the dramatic final innings.
Zach Lutner earned the win for the Wildcats, tossing two perfect innings. Jose Martinez took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four in 3.1 innings of work.
The Hawks are idle until next Tuesday when they visit Delaware. First pitch in Newark is set for 7:00 p.m.