WALDORF, Md. – Five Wildcats tallied an RBI while the defense held down the Georgetown bats with just four hits to avoid a BIG EAST-opening sweep, taking down Georgetown 5-3 on Sunday to close out the series.
While the Villanova (8-15-1, 1-2 BIG EAST) bats showed themselves in the series finale with 10 hits, two of those for extra bases, the defense was just as potent, holding Georgetown (18-10, 2-1 BIG EAST) to a series-low four hits over the weekend. The pitching duo of Brandon Siegenthaler and Cameron Mathes combined for 13 strikeouts.
Siegenthaler moves to 2-3 on the season after a quality start that saw him strikeout a career-high nine Hoyas in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and walked four. Mathes recorded his first save on the year, pitching the final 2 2/3 innings with one run and no hits allowed, sitting down four batters and five walks.
Villanova got out to a hot start in the first scoring three runs on four hits. Chris Rotondo was walked to start off the inning before O’Neill slammed his triple down the right field line to bring Rotondo around. Jack O’Reilly did his part with a groundout to short that was able to bring O’Neill in. With runners on first and third after a Joey Castellanos double and a John Whooley base knock, Cam Hassert sent a SAC fly out to left, scoring Castellanos for the 3-0 lead.
Georgetown threatened in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded on a pair of singles and walk but the Wildcat defense ended the Hoyas’ chance with a putout at second, leaving all three Hoyas stranded. It took until the Georgetown half of the fifth for the Hoyas to get on the board with Ubaldo Lopez sending a two-run homer to left center, making it a 3-2 Villanova advantage.
In the next half inning, Connor Hale was shown a five-pitch walk to first before a Reiner single to right sent him all the way to third. AJ Hansen put down a SAC bunt to score Hale, putting the ‘Cats back up by two.
After walking two of the first three batters he saw in the bottom of the seventh, Siegenthaler’s day came to a close as Mathes entered in relief. Another Hoya was walked to fill up the bases for Lopez. He ended up grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Villanova juiced the bases in the top of the eight with a walk, a hit by pitch and a two-out walk but a putout at third left the Wildcats with nine men stranded up until that point in the contest.
The Hoyas went down in order in the eighth, sending Villanova back to the plate, looking to get some insurance. Both O’Neill and O’Reilly reached on base hits before a Castellanos fly out to center put the first out on the board. Whooley came up and delivered a single to center on the first pitch he saw, letting O’Neill come from second to tag home and give the ‘Cats a three-run cushion, 5-2.
Mathes sat down two of the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth, sending them both swinging. Adam Dapkewicz was walked between the strikeouts and advanced to second on a wild pitch to Michael Eze, who ended up being walked as well, putting two Hoyas on with two outs. Jake Hyde loaded the bases with another walk, bringing Saturday’s walk-off man Lopez back up. Facing a full count, he was walked, bringing in Dapkewicz to make it a 5-3 game. Ethan Stern stranded the trio of Hoyas on the bags with a fly out to second.
Villanova gets back to the home field on Tuesday for the first time in 11 games, hosting Lafayette at 3 p.m. in the Liberty Bell Classic semifinals.