KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Miles Moore recorded his first career three-hit game and Connor Van Hoose had another double-figure strikeout performance on the mound, but Villanova rallied past Bucknell 6-4 on Saturday in the Bison’s first of five Spring Break games in Florida.
Luke Hartman also had a multi-hit game as the Bison (2-8) outhit the Wildcats (4-7) 11-8, but Villanova erased a 4-2 deficit by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and two more in the sixth.
Van Hoose (1-3) struck out 10 batters while allowing six runs (five earned) and seven hits over seven innings of work. He now has 30 strikeouts in his last three starts, and he moved into a tie for eighth place with Dan Weigel on Bucknell’s career strikeouts chart with 161.
Bucknell touched up Villanova starter Ryan Doty (2-2) for two runs in the top of the first. After a single by Hartman and a walk to JohnPaul Bell, Moore laced a two-run double to left field.
Van Hoose retired the first seven Wildcats, but a pair of two-out RBI singles in the third by David Gulati and Chris Rotondo knotted the score. The Bison plated two runs in the fourth to take the lead right back. A single by Moore and a double by Tyler Wincig put men at second and third with no one out, and then Keifer Rawlings and Evan Madigan followed with back-to-back sacrifice flies.
In Villanova’s half of the fifth inning, Tyler Bruno led off with a triple and scored on a bunt single by Brandon Campos. Campos moved to third on an errant pickoff throw and a stolen base, and then he tagged up and scored on Pat O’Neill’s foul pop down the left field line.
Villanova took the lead in the sixth on an RBI double by John Heilenbach and added an insurance run on yet another sac fly, this one coming off the bat of Timothy Lilly.
The Bison put two runners aboard in both the seventh and eighth innings but could not score. In the ninth, Hartman led off with a single, but a line-drive double play squelched the threat, and Jason Applegate got a strikeout to finish off his first save of the season.
Moore is now six for his last 10 at the plate, raising his average to .375 on the season. Madigan went 1-for-2 on Saturday to up his team-leading average to .393 and his on-base percentage to .455.
Nate Grisius worked another scoreless inning in relief. He has yet to allow a run in three appearances this season.
Bucknell and Villanova meet again on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Osceola Heritage Park.