St. John's Takes First BIG EAST Series With Doubleheader Split At Villanova|
March 24, 2012
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Matt Wessinger homered for the third-straight game as part of a four-hit effort to lead St. John's to a 10-4 win in game one, but Villanova prevented a series sweep with an 8-0 game two win as the teams split a doubleheader. Wessinger was a triple shy of the cycle in game one, finishing 4-for-5 with three RBI, while Sean O'Hare was 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead St. John's (13-10, 2-1) in the first game. Robert Case doubled and Jimmy Brennan tripled as the Red Storm was held to just three hits in the second game. Sean Hagan (3-1) had seven strikeouts and allowed three runs, two earned, to take the game one win, while Eddie Medina (2-1) took the loss in game two after allowing four runs in 3.0 innings. Tyler Sciacca combined to go 4-for-8 with two RBI to lead Villanova (14-11, 1-2) in the doubleheader. Starter Tyler Radtke (1-1) took the loss in game one after allowing four runs in just 1.1 innings, while Stephen Ostapeck (2-0) tossed a complete game shutout for the game two win.
St. John's put up two runs in the first inning of game one as Martin Kelly got things started with a leadoff walk. Kelly then stole second and moved to third on an errant throw into centerfield before Pat Talbut put the Red Storm on the board with an RBI groundout. Wessinger followed by launching a solo home run to left field to make it a 2-0 game.
Villanova responded immediately as a two-out solo home run for Matt Fleishman in the bottom of the frame cut the Red Storm lead to 2-1.
The Red Storm went up 5-1 in the second as back-to-back one-out walks opened up a three-run frame and chased Radtke. After retiring the first batter, Radtke issued consecutive walks to Eric Peterson and Kyle Richardson and was lifted. Kyle Helisek entered and plunked Kelly with his first offering to load the bases before Talbut lifted a sacrifice fly into left field. Wessinger then roped a two-run double into the gap in left center.
Back-to-back singles opened the fourth inning for the Red Storm and set the table for a two-run frame. Talbut led off with a single before Wessinger dropped a single into right field to set up runners on first and third. Jeremy Baltz then plated a run with an RBI fielder's choice before stealing both second and third base. O'Hare followed with a two-out RBI single into right field and the Red Storm took a 7-1 advantage.
Villanova made it 7-2 with an unearned run in the fifth as a two-out walk was followed by consecutive fielding errors.
St. John's added two more runs in the sixth inning after Wessinger opened the frame with a leadoff single into left field. A one-out Zach Lauricella double set up runners on second and third before O'Hare grounded an RBI single through the right side. Danny Bethea followed with a sacrifice fly and the Red Storm extended the lead to 9-2.
Villanova added a run and chased Hagan in the sixth after opening the inning with back-to-back singles. John Cialone led off with a single before Adam Nelson laid down a bunt single, but Hagan battled back to retire the next two batters. A Kevin Wager RBI single, however, made it 9-3 and St. John's went to the bullpen. Kevin Kilpatrick entered and promptly induced an inning-ending force out.
St. John's tacked on a run in the eighth as Baltz set the table with a one-out triple to the wall in left center. Following a walk to Lauricella, O'Hare followed with his third-consecutive RBI single to put the Red Storm up 10-3.
The Wildcats made it a 10-4 game in the bottom of the eighth as a leadoff Jordan Zech triple set up a sacrifice fly.
Kilpatrick worked a scoreless ninth, retiring 10-of-12 batters in 3.1 innings of work to record his second save in as many games.
St. John's threatened in the first inning of game two as Talbut laid down a one-out bunt single before Wessinger walked, but Baltz lined into an inning-ending double play.
Villanova then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After a one-out walk and a double gave the Wildcats runners on second and third, Sciacca grounded a two-run double inside the third base bag.
Medina settled down to strikeout two in a 1-2-3 second and also worked a 1-2-3 third to retire seven-straight.
A leadoff Sciacca single set the table for three runs in the fourth, however, as the Wildcats chased Medina. After advancing all the way to third on an errant pickoff throw, Sciacca scored on an RBI double by Steve Schrenk and Medina was lifted from the game. Jake Woodward retired the first batter he faced before a walk and a Nelson RBI single made it 4-0. Another walk reloaded the bases before a hit batsman forced in a run to chase Woodward and Jerome Werniuk induced a lineout double play.
Villanova made it 7-0 in the fifth after a leadoff single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third. Connor Jones then sent a fly ball into right center, forcing Kelly to make a diving catch and setting up a rare two-run sacrifice fly.
Ostapeck, meanwhile, retired 13-straight Red Storm batters before O'Hare took a pitch off his foot with two outs in the seventh.
St. John's threatened in the eighth as Brennan lined a pinch hit triple into right center with one out before Talbut drew a two-out walk, but Ostapeck got out of the jam with a groundout.
St. John's returns to action and opens a four-game homestand with a 3 p.m. contest against Maryland on March 28.