April 3, 2012
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -
Brendan Lobban allowed just two runs, one earned, in a career-high 8.2 innings of work before St. John's held off a late rally to defeat Wagner, 5-4. Both Sean O'Hare and Martin Kelly finished 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead St. John's (16-12), while Matt Wessinger, Jeremy Baltz and Zach Lauricella added an RBI apiece. Lobban (3-2), who at one point retired 14-straight batters, totaled five strikeouts and surrendered just four hits, none after the third inning. Jayson Keel was 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored to pace Wagner (11-18), while Nick Pavia (1-3) took the loss after allowing three runs in 5.2 innings.
Wagner took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after a leadoff triple by Nick Dini set up a Keel RBI groundout.
St. John's answered immediately as a Danny Bethea single led off a two-run third inning. Kelly then tied the game with an RBI double to right field before a Bret Dennis sacrifice bunt gave the Red Storm a runner on third with one out. Wessinger followed with a sacrifice fly and the Red Storm grabbed a 2-1 lead.
Three-straight one-out singles helped the Red Storm add a run in the fourth. Following a single up the middle by Lauricella and a single through the left side by Frank Schwindel, O'Hare lined an RBI single into right field and St. John's grabbed a 3-1 advantage.
The Red Storm loaded the bases with two outs and chased Pavia in the sixth, but was kept off the board. After back-to-back two-out singles by Schwindel and O'Hare, Bethea walked to load the bases and Wagner went to the bullpen. Reliever Ryan Carmon, however, induced a force out at second to end the inning.
Following a pair of 1-2-3 innings for Lobban in the fifth and sixth, back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh resulted in a two-run frame for the Red Storm. Dennis led off with a liner through the left side before Wessinger singled and a sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third. Baltz followed with an RBI single before Lauricella added an RBI on a sacrifice bunt to put the Red Storm up 5-1.
Lobban continued to retire Wagner in order, working two more 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and eighth innings.
The lefty eventually retired 14-straight batters before issuing a one-out walk to Jason Gordon in the ninth. After Gordon moved to second on a wild pitch, Lobban induced an infield popup and was then lifted. Matt Carasiti entered and was greeted by a Keel single through the right side to set up runners on the corners. Tommy Higgins then reached on an error and two runs came home to pull Wagner to within 5-3. St. John's went to the bullpen again and James Lomangino allowed an RBI triple to make it a 5-4 game before getting the final out for his fifth save.
St. John's now travels to New Jersey and returns to action at 3 p.m. on April 5, opening up a three-game BIG EAST series at Rutgers.