March 29, 2009
FLUSHING, N.Y. - In the first-ever game played at Citi Field, the New York Mets brand new ballpark, the St. John's baseball team fell to Georgetown, 6-4. The game was played in front of 22, 397 spectators, the seventh largest all-time regular season crowd for an NCAA baseball game.
Joe Panik was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Jimmy Parque had three hits to pace St. John's (13-9, 4-2). Red Storm starter Brendan Lobban earned a no-decision, allowing just two runs and adding five strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Erick Fernandez had two RBI, while four different players had two hits apiece for Georgetown (10-15, 3-3). Georgetown starter Tim Adelman (2-3) took the win, allowing four runs, two earned, in 8.0 innings.
In the bottom of the second inning Georgetown scored the first-ever run at Citi Field. With one out, Dan Capeless doubled to left field and came home on an RBI single by Greg Pustizzi. Andy Lentz singled with two outs before Tommy Lee was plunked to load the bases with two outs. Lobban induced a fly out, however, to end the threat.
St. John's responded in the top of the third to tie the game at 1-1. After Brian Kemp walked, he recorded the first-ever Citi Field stolen base. Wessinger then walked before a Parque single loaded the bases with one out. Tim Morris grounded to second and Georgetown attempted the force at second base, but no outs were recorded and Kemp scored on the play. After a fly out, Panik singled through the right side to plate two runs and give the Red Storm a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Sean Lamont connected on the first-ever home run at Citi Field; a solo shot to make it 3-2.
Danny Benedetti doubled to lead off the fourth and moved to third on a Gino Matias sacrifice bunt. Kemp then lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to plate Bendetti and give the Red Storm a 4-2 lead.
After 6.0 innings of work, Lobban was lifted in favor of Nick Cenatiempo to start the seventh. Lee greeted the reliever with a double before Tom Elliott singled into right field to give the Hoyas runners on the corners. Fernandez tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run single through the right side to chase Cenatiempo. Ryan Cole entered and allowed a single to Sean Baumann before Lamont reached on an error to load the bases. Georgetown retook the lead as an RBI single by Capeless made it 5-4. After a wild pitch made it 6-4, a walk to pinch hitter Dan Godefroi reloaded the bases. Kelly Muir then bounced back to Cole, who threw home to start a 1-2-3 double play. Georgetown reloaded the bases before Miguel Valcarcel induced a ground out to end the inning.
A Parque single and a Hopkins walk gave the Red Storm runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but Adelman induced an inning-ending double play.
St. John's next travels to LIU on March 31 for a 3 p.m. contest.
Notes: The NCAA regular season attendance record is 40,106, a record set on March 11, 2004 at PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif. ... St. John's alum and former Mets reliever John Franco threw out the ceremonial first pitch ... the lefty took to the field in a New York Mets jacket before removing it to reveal a St. John's jersey.