Feb. 27, 2010
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The St. John's baseball team allowed just five hits in defeating Michigan, 2-1, in the Big Ten-BIG EAST Challenge. Scott Ferrara had two singles and an RBI, while Joe Panik was 2-for-4 with an RBI double to lead St. John's (5-0). Paul Karmas was 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Stephen Rivera (1-0) earned the win for the Red Storm. Matt Miller (0-1) allowed two runs in 6.0 innings, while Nick Urban had one RBI for Michigan (2-4).
Ferrara and Jimmy Parque led off the top of the first with back-to-back singles, but Miller rebounded to retire the next three batters and keep the Red Storm off the board.
After starter Nick Cenatiempo worked a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the first, St. John's took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Sean O'Hare drew a one out walk and Matt Wessinger singled up the middle before a Joe Witkowski fielder's choice set up first and third with two outs for St. John's. Ferrara then singled up the middle to plate O'Hare.
St. John's made it a 2-0 game in the third inning. After Greg Hopkins drew a lead off walk, Panik ripped an RBI double into center field.
Michigan threatened in the fourth, but was kept off the board. Patrick Biondi singled to lead off the inning before Mike Dufek walked. Biondi was then caught stealing before Cenatiempo walked two more Wolverines to load the bases. The senior righty, however, induced a fly out to end the frame.
The Wolverines worked the bases loaded again in the fifth, but again were unable to score. Chris Berset singled to lead off the frame before Urban drew a one out walk. After Anthony Toth loaded the bases with a two out walk, St. John's went to the bullpen. Rivera entered and quickly got Dufek to pop up for the third out.
Michigan, however, got on the board with a run in the seventh. Following a Berset double, Derek Dennis singled to give the Wolverines runners on the corners with no outs. Urban then plated a run with a sacrifice fly into left field before St. John's brought in Kevin Kilpatrick from the bullpen. A sacrifice bunt advanced Dennis to second before Toth drew a walk, but Kilpatrick ended the inning with a strike out.
In the eighth inning, it was St. John's that was kept off the board after threatening. Karmas led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a Panik bunt single. Jeremy Baltz then sent a grounder to Dufek, who stepped on first before throwing home to get Karmas out at the plate for a double play. After O'Hare walked, Wessinger grounded out to end the inning.
Medina entered in the eighth inning and had one strikeout in 2.0 scoreless innings to earn the save.
St. John's concludes play in the Big Ten-BIG EAST Challenge at 1 p.m. on Feb. 28 against Illinois.
Notes: The 1-2 combination of Bruce Kern and Cenatiempo have combined for a 1.00 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 18.0 innings of work this season ... despite a .261 batting average (6-for-23), Karmas has a .739 slugging percentage ... Parque and Baltz have hit safely in all five games ... St. John's has scored first in each game this year.