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Capra’s Go-Ahead RBI Single In The Ninth Leads Wagner To 6-5 Win, Weekend Sweep Over Villanova


   (Robino, Wagner)

Plymouth Meeting, PA – The Wagner baseball team closed out its three-game weekend series at Big East member, Villanova, with a 6-5 win in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Seahawks improve to 26-12 overall while the Wildcats fall to 6-26 on the season. The Green & White swept the season series from Nova, 4-0, as Wagner took these three meetings, outscoring Villanova, 21-14, in addition to an 8-4 victory back on March 18.
Junior 3B Anthony Pecora and catcher Phil Capra each had three hits in this afternoon's contest with Capra driving in three RBIs to run his team-leading total to 49. The 49 RBIs for Capra are the third-highest single-season total, surpassing the 48 that Vin Avella, and Wagner College Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductee, Gil Barkman, put up in 2009 and 1999, respectively. Next on the list is another Wagner Hall of Fame member, Class of 2016 inductee, Mike Cerminaro, at 56.
Freshman right-hander, Pat Gallagher struck out five while allowing just two walks and two runs over five hits in 4.2 innings in taking the no-decision. Sophomore righty, Nick Robino (6-2) (Salesianum), earned his sixth win of the season after not allowing a single hit or run in his 2.2 innings of relief while walking one and striking out three.
The Seahawks sent nine men p to the plate in the top of the fourth, which translated into the visitors capitalizing for four runs in the frame in taking the early lead. Junior CF Joe Silvestrone led off the frame with a triple to left field. Classmate Will Johnson drove him in for the first run of the contest on a double to right field. 

Pecora gave the Green & White runners on the corners after a successful bunt single down the third base line. A walk to senior 2B Nick Mascelli loaded the bases for the Seahawks as they took advantage on the next batter. Senior SS Sean Mazzio flew out to right field, scoring Johnson from third and advancing both Mascelli and Pecora a base. The North Salem, NY native Capra then delivered a two-run single through the right side as the Seahawks led by four.
Wagner added a run in the top of the fifth, extending its lead to 5-0. Capra and senior LF Anthony Godino produced back-to-back hits to give the Seahawks runners on the corners. Nova went to the bullpen and brought in Tyler Arella to face Cala.  On an 0-2 pitch, the senior outfielder ripped a single to right-center field, scoring Capra and moving Godino to third.
Villanova chipped into the lead, scoring twice in the frame to make it a 5-2 game. Dominic Sarro singled and Doug deMarrais drew a walk. Nova's first chance to score a run was erased when Josh Kim reached on a fielder's choice to third base but Pecora alertly fired a strike to Capra to keep the Wildcats off the board.  After a balk was charged to Gallagher, David Gulati sent a bases-clearing triple to left field, scoring Kim and Timothy Lilly and concluded Gallagher's afternoon. Junior southpaw, Keaton Freire came on to retire the only batter he saw in the stanza, Ryan Toohers, via a strikeout.

Wagner was retired in order in the top of the sixth but Villanova scored thrice in knotting the game at 5-5. Consecutive base hits from JP Radvany and Tyler Bruno gave Nova a pair of runners with no one out. Freire was able to strike out the next two hitters, John Heilenbach and Sarro, before deMarrais and Lilly each had run-scoring singles that brought the Wildcats to within one, 5-4, ending Freire's afternoon. Seventh year head coach Jim Carone brought in freshman Nick LePre, who allowed the game-tying run to score on a balk before ending the threat in getting Kim to fly out to Cala in right field. 
Both teams were looking for go-ahead run over the next two innings before the Seahawks struck for what turned out to be the game-winner in the top of the ninth in picking up their third-straight victory. 

Pecora singled down the leftfield line to jump-start the inning. Conor McCarthy (0-3), who was tagged with the loss this afternoon, settled back on the mound and got Mascelli and Mazzio to foul out and strikeout in succession. Capra then came through for Wagner, connecting on his 10th RBI of the series with a double to left-center in scoring Pecora as Wagner led 6-5. Robino closed out the contest, getting the leadoff man, Gulati, to ground out to Mascelli at second before ending the game by posting back-to-back strikeouts of Toohers and Radvany.

Gulati led the way for Villanova, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Radvany and Sarro, along with Gulati, had two hits on the day for the Wildcats. Starter Jonathan Rosero did not factor into today's decision after going 4.1 innings while giving up seven hits that led to five earned runs.
The Seahawks will next be in action April 27-29 when they return to Northeast Conference (NEC) play with a four-game series against Fairleigh Dickinson.

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