UNC Greensboro Tops St. John's, 9-7, As Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short|
March 8, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Trailing by seven runs after eight innings, St. John's sent eight men to the plate in a five-run ninth inning rally before UNC Greensboro held on for a 9-7 win. Joe Panik posted his third-straight multi-hit game, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI and Rowan Wick was 1-for-2 with two RBI to pace St. John's (5-5). Jake Woodward (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs in 2.0 innings of work in his first-career start. Drew Gehringer was 3-for-3 with three RBI to lead UNC Greensboro (7-5), while Dylan Hathcock (1-0) tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
St. John's threatened in the second inning as Jonathan Jones loaded the bases with three-consecutive two-out walks, but the lefty got out of the inning unscathed with a fielder's choice.
UNC Greensboro, however, broke through for three runs in the bottom of the second inning. After consecutive singles to open the inning, a sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third before Gehringer put the Spartans up 2-0 with a two-run double. Chris Barker followed with an RBI double that made it 3-0 before Woodward got out of the inning.
The Red Storm answered, though, with a run in the third inning. After Jimmy Brennan led off with a single and advanced to second on a groundout, Panik lined an RBI single into right field and St. John's trailed 3-1.
A lead off walk in the bottom of the third marked the end of the day for Woodward as Miguel Valcarcel entered the game. Following a walk and an infield single, Ray Crawford added a sacrifice fly before a Gehringer RBI single put the Spartans up 5-1.
St. John's manufactured a run in the fourth to close to within 5-2. Jeremy Baltz walked to lead off the inning, but was erased as Matt Wessinger reached on a fielder's choice. Wessinger then stole second and third base before scoring on a Kevin Grove sacrifice fly.
Singles by Pat Talbut and Panik followed by a wild pitch gave the Red storm runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth, but Greg Smith kept St. John's off the board by retiring the next two batters.
Valcarcel worked a quick a quick 1-2-3 fifth inning and eventually retired six-straight before plunking Crawford and allowing a single to Gehringer. Cole Harrison followed with an RBI single, but an error allowed a second run to score as the Spartans took a 7-2 lead and Valcarel was lifted. Anthony Cervone induced a fly out to end the inning.
The Spartans added two more runs in the seventh inning after Crawford singled and Gehringer walked to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved up both runners before Crawford scored on a wild pitch and Eric Brindle added an RBI single to give UNCG a 9-2 lead.
St. John's threatened in the eighth inning, but was kept off the board. O'Hare led off the eighth with a single before Baltz walked and St. John's had runners on first and second with no outs. A wild pitch with one out gave the Red Storm runners on second and third, but Jarett Miller retired the next two batters.
Trailing by seven, St. John's put together a five-run rally in the ninth inning after having six-straight batters reach base with one out. After Brennan walked to lead off the frame, Panik singled with one out to set up runners on first and second. Frankie Schwindel and O'Hare each followed with RBI singles and UNCG went to the bullpen holding on to a 9-4 lead. Baltz greeted Zach Furl with an RBI double before Lincoln Sanborn walked to load the bases. Wick then roped a two-run single down the right field line to cut the deficit to 9-7, but Furl induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the rally and the game.
St. John's takes on No. 14 North Carolina in a 5 p.m. game on March 9.
Notes: Panik is batting .833 (10-for-12) in the past three games ... Grove made his first-career start and went 0-for-0 with two walks and an RBI ... St. John's stole three bases and is now 11-for-13 (84.6 percent) on the base paths ... the Red Storm has been out-hit in all five of its losses this season.