March 30, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Sean O'Hare plated the game-winning run with a walk-off sacrifice fly and Stephen Rivera tossed 4.1 scoreless innings of relief as St. John's defeated West Virginia, 7-6. O'Hare finished with two RBI to help lead St. John's (14-11, 3-1), while Zach Lauricella finished 2-for-4 with two RBI. Jeremy Baltz was 2-for-3 and Anthony Iacomini had a 3-for-4 day with two stolen bases. Rivera (2-0) allowed one hit, walked one and had a career-high six strikeouts to earn the win in relief. Ryan McBroom was 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to lead West Virginia (11-17, 0-4), while reliever Dan Dierdorff (3-3) took the loss after allowing one run in 2.2 innings.
St. John's starter Sean Hagan worked a 1-2-3 inning in both the first and second frames, but West Virginia starter Corey Walter answered with a pair of a 1-2-3 innings of his own.
After Hagan worked around a leadoff single in the third and Walter worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the frame, it was West Virginia that got on the board first and took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. McBroom led off the inning with a solo shot before Matt Frazer made it back-to-back homers with a solo blast.
The Red Storm answered by sending 10 men to the plate as part of a five-run frame in the bottom of the fourth. Pat Talbut led off with a single, but was erased as Matt Wessinger reached on a fielder's choice. A Baltz single through the right side set up runners on the corners before Lauricella made it 2-1 with an RBI single. O'Hare followed with an RBI groundout before Danny Bethea gave the Red Storm a 3-2 lead with an RBI double. Iacomini added an RBI single before a Jimmy Brennan RBI double put St. John's up 5-2.
West Virginia, however, sent nine men to the plate, retook the lead, 6-5, and chased Hagan with a four-run fifth inning. A one-out walk set the table before back-to-back singles loaded the bases. McBroom followed with a two-run single into centerfield and a two-out John Polonius infield single reloaded the bases. Two runs then scored when Tyler Steele-Worsham reached on an error and Hagan was lifted in favor of Rivera, who ended the inning with a strikeout.
After Rivera worked 1-2-3 innings in both the sixth and seventh, St. John's tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh. Martin Kelly singled to lead off the inning, but reached second on a misplay in right field. After Kelly moved to third on a wild pitch, Baltz was intentionally walked and Lauricella grounded an RBI single through the left side to tie the game.
Rivera eventually retired the first eight batters he faced before issuing a one-out walk in the eighth, but retired the next two batters and worked a scoreless ninth to keep it a 6-6 game.
A Wessinger one-out single set the table for the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Wessinger took second on a wild pitch and Baltz was intentionally walked before both runners advanced on a passed ball. Lauricella was then intentionally walked to load the bases with one out before O'Hare lifted a sacrifice fly into deep center field to plate Wessinger and give the Red Storm the 7-6 win in walk-off fashion.
St. John's returns to action against West Virginia with a 1 p.m. game on March 31.