The University of the Sciences continued their solid play, winning for the fourth time in five games as the defeated Division I Villanova University 1-0 Wednesday afternoon at the Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth.
The Devils improve to 5-5 overall while Villanova falls to 3-11. This was the Devils first win ever over the Wildcats and their first over a Division I opponent since they handed Temple University their first loss at their newly opened Ambler Field ballpark, 5-4 on April 20, 2004.
John McConville (Cornwall Central HS/New Windsor, N.Y.) was solid in six innings of work, giving up just five hits while striking out six and walking two to earn his first win of the season. C.J. Hertz (Sterling HS/Magnolia, N.J.) came in and pitched the final three innings to notch his first collegiate save.
The two teams were hitless through the first two innings with McConville getting some great defensive help in the first to erase a leadoff hit batter when Devils catcher Connor Lennox (Avon Grove HS/Landenberg, Pa.) gunned Paul Rambaud down trying to steal second.
Sciences got their lone run in the third inning. T.J. Maiorino (Bishop Eustace HS/Mt. Laurel, N.J.) started things off by drawing a two-out walk and Nick Szalejko (Archbishop Carroll HS/Norristown, Pa.) followed with the Devils first hit, a single to right field to put two runners on. The Devils loaded the bases when Mike Gartland (Gloucester Catholic HS/Gloucester City, N.J.) reached on an error. Wildcat pitcher Matt Meurer then uncorked a wild pitch allowing Maiorino to speed home and cross the plate standing up.
Villanova did not get their first hit until there were two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Steve Schrenk launched a double in the gap in right center field but McConville got the next batter to weakly ground out to first.
The Devils threatened again in the fifth and the ninth. In both cases Szalejko reach first safely (single in the fifth; hit by pitch in the ninth) and the Wildcats intentionally walked the Devils best hitter Kyle Davis (Garnet Valley HS/Garnet Valley, Pa.) (who saw his hitting streak end at seven games) both times but the Devils could not push an insurance run across.
Turns out they didn't need it. The Wildcats put two runners on in the fifth only to have McConville get Rambaud to fly out to right to end the threat. In the sixth Villanova had runners on first and third with two out and tried to entice a throw on a possible double steal attempt but the Devils saw the play and McConville was able to pickoff B.J. Boccicchio from third base to end the inning. Szalejko also made three nice catches in the final two innings to keep the Wildcats off the basepaths.
Hertz came in with one on and nobody out in the seventh and proceeded to get the next three batters out. The freshman hurler faced just two batters above the minimum, only allowing a pair of singles in the eighth inning while walking none and striking out two. C.J. also got his first collegiate hit, a single to right field in the fourth inning.
The Devils are back in action on Saturday, March 16, 2013 when they host Felician College in their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener at Richie Ashburn Field. First pitch is noon.