April 25, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - St. John's scored two runs in the top of the eighth and one in the ninth to slip past the University of Connecticut baseball team 8-7 on Saturday afternoon in BIG EAST Conference play at J.O. Christian Field.
UConn drops to 22-19 on the year and 8-9 in BIG EAST action with the loss as St. John's improves to 23-14 overall and 11-6 in conference play.
The Red Storm connected on two hits along with a Connecticut error to score two runs and take a 7-6 lead over the Huskies in the eighth inning. In the ninth, the Red Storm put another run on the board as Jimmy Parque hit a double to the center field fence to put St. John's up 8-6. A ninth inning rally by the Huskies was cut short to just one run as St. John's took the game by a score of 8-7.
A leadoff walk to Joe Panik in the top of the second followed by a single through the left side of the infield put runners on first and second with no outs in the inning. After UConn starting pitcher, Elliot Glynn's second strikeout of the game, an error by Brannon on a hard groundball to third loaded the bases for the Red Storm. A sacrifice fly by Gino Matias gave St. John's the first run of the game and an early 1-0 lead as Panik scored on the play.
UConn tied the score at one in the bottom of the inning as Peter Fatse took a 2-0 pitch over the centerfield wall for his seventh blast of the season and second in two games. Mike Nemeth scored the Huskies' second run of the game on a wild pitch by Kern before Nick Ahmed crossed the plate on a Pierre LePage single up the middle to put the Huskies up 3-1.
Tim Morris gave the Red Storm another run in the third inning to cut the UConn lead to 3-2 as he recorded his team-leading ninth homerun of the year. Paul Karmas followed with a double off the left field wall to get into scoring position with no outs. With two outs, a fielding error by Nemeth at first base scored Karmas from third to tie the game at three heading into the bottom of the third inning.
St. John's took the lead in the top of the fifth as Carlos Del Rosario walked then scored on a Joe Witkowski triple off the wall in straightaway centerfield. The run gave the Red Storm the 4-3 advantage.
The Huskies tied the ballgame at four in the bottom of the fifth inning as LePage scored from second on a Matt Burnett single to left field. Glynn came out of the game after allowing four runs, two of which were earned, and seven hits, while walking four batters and striking out the same. Dennis Accomando took the hill with one out in the sixth inning and threw to one batter as he walked Morris to put runners on first and second. Freshman Scott Oberg came in for Accomando and forced a fly out to right then a groundout to first base to get out of the inning.
UConn put something together in the sixth as George Springer and Fatse used back-to-back singles to put runners on base with no outs. Nemeth's fly out to centerfield moved both Springer and Fatse into scoring position for catcher Doug Elliot, who used a sacrifice fly to right field to score Springer as the Huskies took the 5-4 lead. Ahmed recorded his second hit of the ballgame with a two-out single through the right side of the infield that scored Fatse from second to put the Huskies up by two at 6-4.
Matt Wessinger led off the seventh with a double to the right field wall then advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a Del Rosario single into left center to make the score 6-5 in UConn's favor. Dusty Odenbach came into the game for Oberg with a man on first and no outs in the seventh. After a stolen base by Del Rosario, Odenbach was able to strike out both Matias and Kemp looking at the plate.
St. John's scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to put the Red Storm up 7-6 as a two-out fly ball troubled the Huskies' defense and fell after hitting the glove of Springer out in shallow center field.
Erickson took the mound in the ninth inning after Odenbach allowed two hits, one walk and two runs, both of which were unearned. Odenbach was given the loss on the afternoon as St. John's scored the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs in the eighth inning.
Erickson hit the first batter he faced before striking out Matias for the first out of the inning. The Red Storm put another run on the board as Parque hit a double to the center field fence to take an 8-6 lead.
Nick Luisi earned the win, his third of the year, as he threw two innings and allowed no runs or hits, while striking out three. St. John's Kern allowed 11 hits and six runs in six innings of work before Luisi came into the ballgame.
Ryan Cole came into the game for the Red Storm in the bottom of the ninth as he threw seven straight balls and eight in his first nine pitches to put two runners on base for the Huskies with no outs.
A Brantley sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position for Brannon, who grounded out to second but still was able to get Ahmed home to cut the Red Storm lead to one. UConn tried to capitalize on their rally but Burnett grounded out to short for the final out of the ballgame with the tying run on third base.
UConn will take on St. John's in the weekend series' finale on Sunday, April 26 at J.O. Christian Field. Game time is set for noon.