Eight-Run Fourth Leads St. John's To 14-6 Triumph Against West Virginia|
April 1, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's sent 13 men to the plate as part of an eight-run fourth inning, while Frank Schwindel finished the game 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI as the Red Storm won its second-straight BIG EAST series with a 14-6 win against West Virginia. Martin Kelly was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored to help lead St. John's (15-12, 4-2), while Matt Wessinger and Pat Talbut added two RBI apiece. Eddie Medina (3-1) earned the win, striking out three and allowing four runs in 6.0 innings of work. Chris Rasky and Nate Antone each had two RBI for West Virginia (12-18, 1-5), while starter Eric Hinkle (0-4) took the loss after allowing four runs, one earned, in 3.2 innings.
West Virginia grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning after a one-out walk and a two-out single set up an Antone two-run double.
St. John's, however, answered with a run in the bottom of the frame. Zach Lauricella drew a leadoff walk before advancing on a passed ball and moving to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sean O'Hare then made it a 2-1 game with an RBI single.
The Red Storm took advantage of another leadoff walk to tie the game in the third. Kelly took the leadoff walk before Kyle Lombardo also walked and Wessinger set up runners on second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Talbut then lifted a sacrifice fly into centerfield to even the score at 2-2.
St. John's broke the game open in the fourth, scoring eight two-out runs, sending 13 batters to the plate and drawing seven walks against four different West Virginia pitchers. After a walk, a fly out and a caught stealing, O'Hare reached on an error with two outs to extend the inning. Danny Bethea followed with a single to set up runners on first and third and send West Virginia to the bullpen. Kelly greeted reliever Austin Pressly with an RBI single into left field to give the Red Storm a 3-2 lead before Lombardo walked to load the bases. Back-to-back walks to Wessinger and Talbut forced in a pair of runs and the Mountaineers went back to the pen. A wild pitch from Caleb Ross allowed Lombardo to score from third before a walk to Baltz reloaded the bases. Wessinger then scored on a balk before Lauricella walked to reload the bases. After Talbut scored on a wild pitch, Baltz scored on another wild pitch and Schwindel roped an RBI double inside the third base bag to make it a 10-2 game. The seventh walk of the inning prompted the third pitching change of the frame and Josh Harlow induced a fly out to end the inning.
Medina, meanwhile, worked 1-2-3 innings in both the third and fourth frames, eventually retiring nine-straight before a two-out double in the fifth.
West Virginia scored on a wild pitch and a fielder's choice to get two runs back in the top of the sixth, however, and make the score 10-4.
The Red Storm, however, capped a two-out rally with a home run to increase the lead to 12-4. Lauricella set the table with a two-out walk, his fourth free pass of the game, before Schwindel roped a two-run home run to left field.
A leadoff double for Bethea set up another two-run frame for St. John's in the seventh. Kelly followed with an RBI single, advancing to second on a play at the plate, and moved to third on a groundout. Wessinger then lifted a sacrifice fly into shallow right field and Kelly raced home to make it a 14-4 ballgame.
After working a 1-2-3 seventh, Brendan Lobban plunked the leadoff man in the eighth and was lifted. James Lomangino was greeted with a McBroom double to set up runners on second and third with no outs before an RBI infield single and a sacrifice fly brought the Mountaineers to within 14-6.
St. John's returns to action and opens up a four-game road trip on April 3 with a 3:30 p.m. game at Wagner.