Dramatic Win

Villanova battled back to twice tie West Virginia in Saturday's baseball game at Hawley Field, but the Mountaineers finally ended matters with one swing of the bat.

Leading off the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied 6-6, right fielder Stan Posluszny chose the perfect time for his only hit of the day as he drove reliever Gus Guida's delivery over the right field wall to give the Mountaineers the win. The dramatic blast put WVU ahead 2-0 in the important conference series and poised West Virginia for a series sweep.

The scoring battle got underway early as the Mountaineers scored three runs in the second, with the big hit being Doug Nelms' two-out, two-RBI single. The Wildcats, however, responded in the top of the third with three runs of their own.

In the bottom of the frame, WVU put together two singles by Kyle Matuszek and Casey Bowling, and managed to get the former home on a Bill Wooten sacrifice fly, to regain the lead at 4-3. West Virginia then added two more runs in its next at bat to build a seemingly safe 6-3 margin.

The Mountaineers loaded the bases on three consecutive singles, then scored two runs when the Wildcats failed to produce an out on consecutive fielder's choices and a dropped throw by the shortstop at second base. Although the Mountaineers missed the chance for a really big inning when Villanova got two outs to end the threat, it looked as if they had seized command.

Villanova battled back, however, with a two-run homer by Derek Shunk in the top of the fifth, and finally tied the game in the eighth when Frank Cirone singled home Jeremy Hunt. One batter later, reliever Levi Maxwell came on for WVU starter Marty Fagler, and promptly dug himself a hole by yielding a walk and an infield single to laod the bases. However, the Mountaineers came up with a crucial inning-ending double play to escape the jam and set up Posluszny's heroics.

WVU moved above the .500 mark in the league with the win, and now stands at 9-8 in the Big East. The Mountaineers will look to move into double-digit wins in the league, and for their 30th victory of the season overall, in a 1:00 p.m. Sunday game against the Wildcats.


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