March 10, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -
Four St. John's relievers combined to hold No. 11 North Carolina to just two runs in 7.0 innings of work, but St. John's could not rally back from a 6-0 first inning deficit and fell to the Tar Heels, 8-2. Jimmy Parque and Sean O'Hare had two hits apiece for St. John's (7-3), while Paul Karmas and Scott Ferrara each had an RBI. Ben Bunting, Ryan Graepel and Jesse Wierzbicki had two RBI apiece for UNC (11-2), while Jimmy Messer (1-0) allowed two runs in 5.2 innings of work.
After setting down the Red Storm in order in the top of the first, the Tar Heels plated six runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame off starter Sean Hagan (1-1). Bunting and Tommy Coyle opened the inning with back-to-back singles before a one-out walk loaded the bases. A walk to Brian Goodwin forced in a run and Wierzbicki followed with a two-run single. A two-out walk forced in another run before Bunting plated two runs with a single into left field.
St. John's loaded the bases with two outs in the second after Joe Panik and O'Hare singled and Joe Witkowski walked, but Messer got a strikeout to keep the Red Storm off the board.
The Red Storm, however, got on the board with a run in the third after back-to-back singles by Matt Wessinger and Parque opened the inning. Greg Hopkins then advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt before Karmas brought in Wessinger with an RBI groundout.
A one-out triple by Levi Michael resulted in a Graepel sacrifice fly to give UNC a 7-1 lead in the fourth.
After entering the game in the second inning, Eddie Medina
went on to work 3.2 innings of one-run ball before giving way to Kevin Kilpatrick
with a runner on first and two outs in the fifth. Kilpatrick loaded the bases, but kept UNC off the board.
St. John's added a run in the sixth to make it 7-2. Panik walked with one out, but was erased at second as Jeremy Baltz reached on a fielder's choice. O'Hare then lined a single into left center before Witkowski loaded the bases with an infield single up the middle. A walk to Ferrara forced in a run and chased Messer from the game. Chris Munnelly, however, needed just one pitch to get out of the jam.
Munnelly worked out of another bases loaded jam to keep the Red Storm off the board in the seventh. After three-consecutive singles by Parque, Hopkins and Karmas, the reliever got a strikeout and a double play to end the threat.
Stephen Rivera worked 2.1 innings and allowed one run on an RBI single by Graepel in the eighth. Ryan Cole had one strikeout in 0.2 innings.
St. John's returns to action with a three-game set at Liberty beginning on March 12.
Notes: Parque has hit safely in all ten games this year and has a team-best seven multi-hit games ... St. John's was out-hit by the opposition for the first time this year.