No. 6 North Carolina Uses Three-Run Eighth To Hold Off St. John's, 8-4|
Feb. 28, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A two-run eighth helped St. John's pull to within one run, but No. 6 North Carolina plated three runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure an 8-4 win against the Red Storm. Matt Wessinger finished 3-for-4 with three runs, two stolen bases and one RBI to pace St. John's (2-5), while Martin Kelly was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Brendan Lobban (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs in 3.0 innings of work. Colin Moran was 4-for-5 with two RBI and Cody Stubbs finished 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead North Carolina (6-1). Shane Taylor (1-0) earned the win in relief, allowing three runs and striking out six in 3.2 innings.
A leadoff single set the table for North Carolina in the bottom of the first inning and a Jacob Stallings RBI single made it a 1-0 game.
UNC then took advantage of back-to-back one-out walks in the second frame and Moran later picked up his second hit of the day to give UNC a 3-0 lead with a two-out, two-run single.
The first seven Red Storm batters were retired before Frank Schwindel singled with one out in the third. Pat Talbut made it back-to-back singles, but Benton Moss retired the next two batters to end the inning.
A two-out RBI infield single by Parks Jordan made it a 4-0 game before Lobban escaped further damage and stranded two runners with an inning-ending strikeout.
St. John's got on the board with a run in the fourth as Wessinger got things started with a one-out single and promptly stole both second and third base. Zach Lauricella then walked to set up runners on the corners before Kelly put the Red storm on the board with an RBI infield single. A walk to Anthony Iacomini loaded the bases and sent UNC to the bullpen, but Schwindel lined into an inning-ending double play.
North Carolina made it 5-1 in the fourth, but another one-out single by Wessinger helped set up a run for St. John's in the sixth. Lauricella doubled to set up runners on second and third before Kelly made it 5-2 with an RBI groundout.
St. John's put the leadoff man on base for the first time in the eighth inning and plated two runs to pull to within 5-4. Jeremy Baltz was plunked to open the frame before Wessinger roped an RBI double into the left field corner and UNC went to the bullpen. A wild pitch moved Wessinger to third before Kelly was plunked with one out to set up runners on the corners. Iacomini followed with a sacrifice fly, but Cody Penny got out of the inning and maintained the lead.
UNC answered right back, however, loading the bases with no outs before a Stubbs three-run double made it 8-4.
St. John's returns to action with a 4 p.m. game on Feb. 29 at UNC Wilmington.