March 21, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. -
Matt Wessinger launched a two-out, three-run, go-ahead home run in the fifth inning and Brendan Lobban tossed 7.0 innings of three-run ball as St. John's won its seventh-straight game with a 4-3 victory against LIU. Wessinger finished 1-for-4 with the home run and three RBI to lead St. John's (11-9), while Frank Schwindel went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. Lobban (2-1) earned the win, striking out seven and walking none. Albert Faz was 4-for-4 with a home run to help pace LIU (8-11), while Rafael Guerrero (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs in 1.0 inning of relief.
LIU put its first two runners on base in the first inning to set the table and take a 1-0 lead. Pete Leonello singled and Mike Garcia was plunked before a balk set up runners on second and third with one out. Chris Untereiner followed with a sacrifice fly and the Blackbirds led 1-0.
After Lobban used a double play ball to erase a one-out single in the top of the third, St. John's tied the game in the bottom of the frame as Schwindel led off with a solo blast to left field.
Lobban worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but the Blackbirds retook the lead, 2-1, with a run in the fifth. Following a leadoff Faz double, a sacrifice bunt gave LIU a runner on third with one out. Leonello immediately followed with an RBI single up the middle and LIU went up 2-1.
St. John's answered in the bottom of the fifth, using the long ball to cap a two-out rally and retake the lead with a three-run frame. The first two batters were retired before Martin Kelly and Jimmy Brennan drew back-to-back walks. Wessinger then stepped in and gave the Red Storm a 4-2 lead after launching the first pitch into left field for a three-run home run.
Lobban worked another 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, but LIU pulled to within 4-3 in the seventh as Faz lifted a two-out solo blast to left field.
Stephen Rivera worked a scoreless eighth inning before James Lomangino worked a scoreless ninth to notch his fourth save of the season.
St. John's returns to action at 3:15 p.m. on March 23, opening up BIG EAST play on the road with a three-game set at Villanova (March 23-25).