Four-Run Fourth Inning Leads No. 14 North Carolina Past St. John's, 8-1|
March 9, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - St. John's grabbed the early lead with a run in the second inning, but was held scoreless for the final seven innings by six different pitchers in an 8-1 loss to No. 14 North Carolina. Jeremy Baltz was 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Paul Karmas was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored to pace St. John's (5-6). Kevin Kilpatrick (0-2) took the loss, allowing seven runs in 3.1 innings of work before the St. John's bullpen allowed just one run on three hits in 4.2 innings of work. Cody Stiles (2-0) worked 7.0 inning of one-run ball to earn the win, while Ben Bunting had three RBI to lead North Carolina (11-1).
St. John's was set down in order in the top of the first inning, but put a run on the board to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Karmas led off the inning with a double to left field and Baltz followed with an RBI single through the right side to give the Red Storm an early lead. Sean O'Hare reached on a fielder's choice as Baltz was erased and Stiles retired the next two batters.
North Carolina responded quickly, adding two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Colin Moran walked before Jesse Wierzbicki singled, but an error gave the Tar Heels runners on second and third. Greg Holt tied the game with a one-out RBI single and Bunting gave North Carolina the lead with a sacrifice fly.
The Tar Heels used a Jacob Stallings solo home run to extend the lead to 3-1 in the third inning.
Stiles worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the fourth inning and his offense chased Kilpatrick and plated four runs in the bottom of the frame to go up 7-1. A hit batsman, a single and a hit batsman loaded the bases with no outs for UNC before Bunting plated a run with a sacrifice fly. A Tommy Coyle RBI single and a walk marked the end of the outing for Kilpatrick and St. John's went to the bullpen. Stephen Rivera entered the game and allowed a Stallings sacrifice fly before one more run came home to score on a wild pitch.
Rivera retired the first two batters in the fifth inning on just five pitches, but pinch hitter Seth Baldwin doubled before Bunting made the score 8-1 with an RBI single.
Eddie Medina entered in the sixth inning and needed just 11 pitches to retire the Tar Heels in order.
Stiles, meanwhile, set down 11-straight Red Storm batters before Karmas drew a walk with one out in the seventh. O'Hare singled through the right side to set up runners on first and second with two outs, but Stiles used his fourth strikeout to end the inning.
Medina allowed a lead off single in the bottom of the seventh, but the runner was caught stealing by Joe Witkowski and the next two batters were retired on just four pitches.
Matt Carasiti entered and had two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, but the Tar Heels used three different pitchers to retire St. John's in order in the top of the ninth to close out the game.
St. John's now travels to Boling Springs, N.C., for a three-game set against Gardner-Webb from March 11-13. Game one is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday.