March 9, 2012
LYNCHBURG, Va. - St. John's took the lead with a run in the first inning, but Liberty answered with eight unanswered runs en route to defeating the Red Storm 12-2 in the first game of a four-game series. Matt Wessinger was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Sean O'Hare finished 1-for-4 with a solo home run for St. John's (4-7), which lost for the first time this season when scoring first. Kyle Hansen(0-4) took the loss, striking out five and allowing six runs in 5.0 innings of work. Ryan Cordell finished 2-for-4 with five RBI and Michael Robertson was 2-for-4 with four RBI to lead Liberty (14-1). John Niggli (4-0) earned the win, allowing two runs and striking out six in 8.0 innings of work.
St. John's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Martin Kelly led off with a single before Pat Talbut doubled to set up runners on second and third with no outs. Wessinger followed with an RBI groundout to put St. John's on the board before Zach Lauricellasingled with two outs, but Talbut was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Liberty came right back in the bottom of the first as Andy Smith connected for a one-out solo home run to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
The Flames went ahead in the third as Ian Parmley drew a leadoff walk to set the table and stole both second and third before Robertson made it 2-1 with an infield RBI single.
Hansen had two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but back-to-back singles opened the fifth and led to a four-run frame for Liberty. A groundout moved the runners to second and third before Robertson lined a two-run single into center to make it a 4-1 game. Cordell followed with a two-out, two-run single and the Flames led 6-1 after five innings.
Jerome Werniuktook the mound in the sixth and Liberty loaded the bases with one out before an RBI fielder's choice and a two-out RBI single made it 8-1.
St. John's used the long ball to make it 8-2 in the seventh inning as O'Hare launched a solo home run to lead off the frame.
Liberty put up four more runs in the eighth after Brad Bellinger loaded the bases with three one-out walks before surrendering a Bryan Aanderud RBI single. Kyle Turnerthen entered for his collegiate debut and got a strikeout before a three-run double by Cordell made it a 12-2 ballgame.
St. John's continues its series against Liberty with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on March 10.