PHOENIX, AZ -- Former Scotch Plains-Fanwood standout pitcher Danny Wilkinson, along with a former foe (Cranford HS grad Gordon Graceffo) combined on a three-hitter as Villanova stunned No. 3 ranked Arizona State (ASU), 2-1, in what might be the biggest win in program history on Saturday, Feb. 15.
The New Jersey natives held ASU to just one run. In his career appearance, Danny Wilkinson gave up just one hit and had five strikeouts and 5 walks in 3.2 innings of shutout ball. He worked out a couple of scoring threats to secure the victory. Starter Gordon Graceffo gave up just two hits and one run in 5.1 innings of work.
Villanova broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the sixth inning. ASU responded with a lead-off home run by Spencer Torkelson in the bottom of the frame. With one out and a runner on third, Wilkinson came into the game and struck out two batters to end the scoring threat. He threw scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th before an eventful 9th inning.
Wilkinson retired the first two batters and then gave up a two-out, two-strike hit followed by a walk. Villanova coaches then called for an intentional walk, leading to an eight-pitch strikeout of Trevor Hauver to seal the victory.
According to Villanova Athletics' website, ASU is the highest ranked team that the Wildcats have ever beaten, topping the previous best of an 11-1 win over No. 8 Florida on March 4, 2005. It is also the program's first win over any ranked team since beating No. 20 St. John's in 2017.
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