March 10, 2012
LYNCHBURG, Va. - St. John's combined to commit a total of 10 errors in a doubleheader against Liberty and the Flames took advantage by plating eight unearned runs to notch 7-4 and 4-1 wins. Jeremy Baltz finished 5-for-7 on the day with one home run and three RBI to pace St. John's (4-9). Sean Hagan (1-1) took the game one loss, allowing four runs, three earned, in 6.0 innings of work, while Matt Carasiti (0-2) was saddled with loss in game two after allowing four runs, zero earned, and striking out five in 5.2 innings. Andy Smith was 2-for-7 with a home run and three runs scored for Liberty (16-1). Patrick Bankemper (1-0) earned the win in relief of game one, while Brooks Roy (3-0) notched a relief win in game two.
The first five batters reached base in the third to set up a three-run inning for Liberty in game one. After a leadoff double and a walk, Smith reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases as St. John's unsuccessfully tried to retire the lead runner. Michael Robertson followed with an RBI single before an error on a groundball allowed two runs to score and gave the Flames a 3-0 lead.
St. John's answered right back with a run in the fourth. Matt Wessinger was plunked with one out before Baltz roped an RBI double off the wall in left field to make it a 3-1 game.
The Red Storm loaded the bases with no outs, chased starter Patrick Eckelbarger and tied the game with a two-run sixth. Jimmy Brennan and Pat Talbut took back-to-back walks to open the frame before Wessinger dropped a single into center to load the bases with no outs. Baltz then grounded an RBI single up the middle and Liberty went to the bullpen. Bankemper struck out the first two batters he faced before Zach Lauricella chopped an RBI infield single up the middle to tie the game at 3-3.
Liberty, however, answered in the bottom of the sixth as Smith connected for a solo home run to give the Flames a 4-3 lead.
Stephen Rivera worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but a trio of errors allowed Liberty to plate three unearned runs and go up 7-3 in the eighth.
St. John's put together a rally in the ninth, but managed just one run. After Robert Case led off with a pinch hit single, Danny Bethea was plunked and Brennan grounded an RBI single up the middle to chase Bankemper from the game. Reliever Trey Lambert, however, got a strikeout and induced a game-ending double play.
St. John's opened up the scoring in game two as Baltz launched a solo home run to lead off the second inning and give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead.
Carasiti, meanwhile, had two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first inning and retired nine of the first 11 batters before Robertson singled to lead off a one-run fourth for the Flames. Robertson moved to second on a groundout before advancing to third on an error and scoring on a Ryan Cordell RBI groundout that leveled the score at 1-1.
Liberty plated another unearned in the fifth as Ian Parmley singled with two outs and stole second before scoring on a groundball that ended with an errant throw to first base.
An error and back-to-back singles loaded the bases with no outs in a two-run sixth for Liberty. Carasiti got a strikeout before a sacrifice fly and an RBI single made it 4-1.
St. John's concludes its series against Liberty with a 1 p.m. game on March 11.