March 21, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - Senior Carlos Del Rosario plated the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth as the St. John's baseball team defeated Villanova, 3-2, to give head coach Ed Blankmeyer his 450th career win. Del Rosario, Jimmy Parque and Joe Panik had an RBI each, while Greg Hopkins had three hits to lead St. John's (10-7, 2-0). Red Storm starter Bruce Kern earned a no-decision after allowing just three hits and two runs in 7.0 innings of work. Kevin Crimmel also earned a no-decision for Villanova (10-8, 0-2), allowing just two runs, one earned, in 6.0 innings.
After Kern retired the first six Villanova batters of the game, Carver put the Wildcats on the board with a solo home run to left field.
St. John's responded to the tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. After Tim Morris drew a one-out walk, Hopkins reached on a bunt single to give the Red Storm runners on first and second. With two outs, Panik singled into left field to tie the game at 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Villanova retook the lead. Matt McFolling led off with a single and moved to second on a Joe Cotter sacrifice bunt. After Carver was plunked to load the bases, David Koczirka singled to plate McFolling and put the Wildcats up 2-1.
St. John's tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh after Gino Matias got the inning started by reaching on an error. Villanova then went to the bullpen and brought in Mike Francisco. Matias stole second before Brian Kemp grounded into a fielder's choice. On the play Matias was caught in a rundown between second and third, while Kemp hustled to reach second base. Matt Wessinger followed with a groundout back to the pitcher that allowed Kemp to advance to third. Parque tied the game with an RBI single after his hard-hit grounder took a bad hop.
The Red Storm rallied to score the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Morris led off with a single up the middle. With Morris in motion, Hopkins then singled through the left side and advanced to second on a throw to third to give St. John's runners at second and third with no outs. Villanova brought the infield in and, with two strikes, Del Rosario blooped a single into shallow left field to plate what proved to be the game-winning run for St. John's.
Wesley Bordon drew a lead-off walk in the top of the ninth as Villanova tried to rally off of Ryan Cole. Pinch runner Joe Rosati then stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Cole then punched out Joe Cotter and fielded a Carver ground out to end the game.
Cole (1-0) picked up the win after not allowing a hit in 2.0 scoreless innings.
St. John's will host Villanova in the series finale on March 22 at noon.