Feb. 27, 2011
ATLANTA - Junior lefty Brendan Lobban allowed just three runs in a career-high 7.2 innings and No. 23 St. John's erupted for 12 hits to defeat No. 21 Georgia Tech, 13-3, in the series finale. Lobban (1-0) had five strikeouts, four 1-2-3 innings and allowed just one hit after the third inning. Joe Panik was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, while Matt Wessinger was 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI to lead St. John's (3-3). Jeremy Baltz was 2-for-2 with three RBI and a pair of walks. Matt Skole was 2-for-4 with two RBI for Georgia Tech (5-3), while Buck Farmer (0-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs, four earned, in 4.0 innings of work.
St. John's grabbed a 1-0 lead, its first lead of the series, by drawing four walks in the top of the first. Following consecutive one-out walks to Pat Talbut and Panik, Sean O'Hare drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs. Baltz then walked on four pitches to force in a run and put the Red Storm on the board. Farmer, however, ended the inning with his third strikeout to strand a trio of baserunners.
Georgia Tech threatened in the bottom of the first by loading the bases with two outs, but Lobban worked out of the jam with an inning-ending groundout.
The Red Storm used a pair of two-run home runs to take a 5-0 lead in the top of the third inning. After Talbut reached on an error to lead off the frame, Panik launched the first pitch of his at-bat for a two-run home run to right field. Farmer retired the next two batters before Baltz extended the inning with a single. Wessinger then blasted a two-run home run to left field.
The Yellow Jackets answered with a run in the bottom of the third. Kyle Wren led off with a single, but attempted to steal second and was thrown out by Joe Witkowski. Jacob Esch followed with a triple and Skole put Georgia Tech on the board with an RBI single, but Lobban induced a 4-6-3 double play to limit the damage to one run.
Following a lead off single by Panik in the fifth inning, Paul Karmas added an RBI double as St. John's took a 6-1 lead and chased Farmer from the game. Reliever Taylor Wood entered and induced a groundout as Karmas advanced to third before Baltz added a sacrifice fly and the Red Storm took a 7-1 lead.
Lobban, meanwhile, retired six-straight Yellow Jackets before allowing a two-out walk in the bottom of the fifth inning.
After back-to-back one out singles by Jimmy Brennan and Witkowski in the sixth inning, Panik lofted an RBI single into left field and St. John's took an 8-1 lead and the Yellow Jackets went to the bullpen again.
St. John's scored for the third-straight inning by plating a run in the seventh to take a 9-1 lead. Baltz walked with one out before a Wessinger single chased Luke Bard from the game. Devin Stanton entered and a wild pitch allowed both runners to move up, but the throw to second went in to center field and Baltz trotted home.
Lobban worked back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh innings as the lefty retired seven-straight Yellow Jackets and 13 of 14.
The Red Storm sent nine men to the plate in a four-run eighth inning to take a 13-1 lead. Brennan reached on an error to open the inning before Talbut drew a walk. Karmas then walked with one out to load the bases before O'Hare plated a run with a sacrifice fly. After Baltz added an RBI single, Wessinger roped a two-run double as St. John's took a 12-run lead.
A lead off walk in the eighth snapped the stretch of seven-straight retired by Lobban, but he quickly responded to retire the next two batters. Skole, however, followed with an RBI double, which was the first hit against Lobban since a one-out single in the third inning. After plunking Daniel Palka, Lobban was lifted in favor of Matt Carasiti. Brandon Thomas greeted Carasiti with an RBI single before a walk loaded the bases, but St. John's got out of the jam and took a 13-3 advantage into the ninth.
St. John's returns to state of Georgia for a three-game set against Georgia Southern from March 4-6.