March 30, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y. - Anthony Cervone allowed just one run in his first-career start and Matt Wessinger had his first-career five-hit game as St. John's belted out 17 hits in a 13-6 win against Albany. Wessinger was 5-for-6, while Jeremy Baltz was 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBI to lead St. John's (13-9). Jimmy Brennan also had a solo home run and Joe Panik added a pair of RBI for the Red Storm. Cervone (1-0) allowed just one run on one hit and had six strikeouts in 5.1 innings to earn the win. Josh Nethaway was 2-for-3 with two RBI to pace Albany (5-13).
Three-consecutive singles to lead off the game helped St. John's grab a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Wessinger reached on an infield single, Pat Talbut singled to right field to set up runners on the corners with no outs. Panik followed with an RBI single through the left side to give St. John's a 1-0 lead. Panik promptly stole second base, but the throw went into center field and Talbut trotted home and the Red Storm led 2-0. Baltz added a one-out single, but Ryan White rebounded to retire the next two batters.
Cervone worked a quick 1-2-3 first inning, fielding a comebacker before striking out consecutive batters to end the inning. After plunking the lead off man in the second inning, the righty responded with a strikeout before inducing an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
St. John's sent nine men the plate and capitalized on three Albany errors to tack on five runs in the third. After Paul Karmas walked to lead off the third and Baltz singled up the middle, Kevin Grove set up runners on second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Sean O'Hare then plated a run with a grounder to short to give the Red Storm a 3-0 lead, but also reached first safely as the throw from the shortstop went wide. Joe Witkowski then plated a run with a comebacker, but also reached first on an error to make it 4-0. Witkowski then stole second, but the catcher's throw went into center field allowing a run to score. Kyle Richardson followed with a walk and Wessinger reached on an infield single to load the bases before a pair of wild pitches allowed two more runs to score as St. John's opened up a 7-0 lead.
Albany got on the board in the bottom of the third as Drew Welsh led off with a triple to right field before Josy Espinal followed with an RBI groundout to make it a 7-1 game.
After Brennan walked with one out in the fifth, Wessinger doubled to set up runners on second and third before a wild pitch gave St. John's an 8-1 lead.
Cervone went on to retire 10 of the next 12 batters after the lead off triple in the third as the righty issued a two-out walk in the fourth and a lead off walk in the fifth. Following a one-out walk in the sixth, however, St. John's went to the bullpen and brought in Eddie Medina to get the final two outs of the inning.
A Panik RBI double with two outs in the seventh gave St. John's a 9-1 lead.
Albany plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Jake Woodward. Following a lead off single and a walk, a passed ball set up second and third before an RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly made it a 9-3 game.
The Great Danes added three more runs in the eighth off of Stephen Rivera to close to within 9-6. Greg Muller had an RBI double and Nethaway had a two-run double in the frame.
The Red Storm, however, countered with a pair of home runs in the ninth to go up 13-6. Brennan led off the inning with a solo home run to put the Red Storm up 10-6. Wessinger followed with a single, his fifth hit of the game, before Karmas drew a two-out walk. Baltz then launched a towering three-run shot just inside the left field foul pole.
Miguel Valcarcel worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game.
St. John's opens up a three-game series at Connecticut on April 1 with a 3 p.m. game.