April 4, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's rallied from a 10-6 deficit in the ninth inning of game one and an 8-0 deficit in the fourth inning of game two to sweep a double header from Rutgers in BIG EAST action. Brian Kemp combined to go 7-for-11 with eight RBI to lead St. John's (16-10, 6-2). Jimmy Parque finished the day 6-for-9 with four RBI, while Joe Panik added five RBI to help pace the Red Storm. Carlos Del Rosario had three RBI on the day, including the game-winning RBI with two outs in the bottom of the tenth of the first game. Ryan Cole (2-0) and Stephen Rivera (2-2) each notched wins on the mound for St. John's. Michael Lang combined to go 6-for-11 with five RBI and Dan Betteridge was 4-for-8 with four RBI to pace Rutgers (12-15, 2-6).
Rutgers took an early lead in the top of the first of game one as Lang led off the game with a solo home run. The Scarlet Knights went up 2-0 in the second inning. After Luis Feliz led off with a double, he moved to third on a groundout before scoring on a Russ Hopkins sacrifice fly.
Rutgers went up 3-0 in the third as Jaren Matthews walked, Dan Betteridge was plunked and Jarred Jimenez singled to load the bases with no outs. Jayson Hernandez plated a run with a sacrifice fly before starter Nick Luisi induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.
St. John's got on the board in the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. Del Rosario led off the inning with a solo home run to center field. Kevin Watkins followed with a walk and moved up on a sacrifice bunt. A Kemp single pushed Watkins to third before Tim Morris plated two runs with a single through the right side.
The Scarlet Knights, however, scored five times in the sixth to go up 8-3. After Hernandez doubled and Feliz reached on an error, Ryan Kapp doubled to plate two runs. Russ Hopkins then walked and a sacrifice bunt gave Rutgers men on second and third. Lang followed with a two-run single and St. John's went to the bullpen. Betteridge greeted reliever Rich Armento with an RBI single, before the Red Storm ended the frame with a pick off and a strikeout.
In the seventh Gino Matias led off with a walk and scored on a Kemp double. Parque followed with an RBI single of his own as Matias scored to make it 8-5.
Rutgers went up 10-5 in the eighth after back-to-back singles by Joey Ianiero and Lang opened the inning. After a fielder's choice, Betteridge plated a run with a sacrifice bunt and Hernandez later followed with a two-out RBI single.
After two quick outs in the eighth, Watkins and Matias drew consecutive walks. Kemp followed with his third-straight hit, an RBI single to make it a 10-6 game.
Down 10-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Red Storm rallied to tie the game and force extra innings. Morris led things off with a single, but was erased on a fielder's choice. Panik lined an RBI double into right center field before Danny Benedetti gave St. John's runners on the corners with a single. Del Rosario then singled through the right side to make it 10-8 with one out. After Watkins walked, Matias lifted a sacrifice fly into right field and the Red Storm trailed just 10-9. Kemp then picked up his fourth-straight hit, an RBI single that tied the game at 10-10.
Lang singled to open the tenth and moved to second on sacrifice bunt before heading to third on a ground out. With Lang on third, reliever Cole then threw a wild pitch and Lang raced for home. Catcher Joe Witkowski chased it down and threw to Cole, who blocked the plate and made the tag to keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the tenth, Greg Hopkins drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a Panik single. Del Rosario then stepped up with two outs and lined a game-winning single up the middle to plate Hopkins and end the game.
The Scarlet Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two thanks to a solo home run by Betteridge. A Betteridge RBI single in the third gave Rutgers a 2-0 lead before the Scarlet Knights opened up the game with a six-run fourth inning that included two St. John's errors. Feliz had a two RBI single and Tim Reilly drew a bases-load walk. Lang followed with a two-run single before a run trotted home on a double play.
Trailing 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth, the Red Storm answered with a six-run inning of its own. Del Rosario reached on an error to open the inning before a Matias single. With one out, a Witkowski single loaded the bases. Kemp then plated two runs with a double before Matt Wessinger plated two more runs with a single down the right field line. Back-to-back singles by Parque and Morris loaded the bases before Panik plated a run with a fielder's choice and the sixth run came home on an error.
St. John's batted around for a second-straight inning in the fifth and took an 11-8 lead. Watkins led off with a double and a one-out infield single by Kemp gave the Red Storm runners on first and third. Wessinger then reached on an error, but plated a run in the process before Parque blasted a three-run home run over the right field fence. Morris extended the inning with a walk and Panik followed with an RBI triple.
The Red Storm added three more runs in the sixth. Watkins walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before heading to third on a wild pitch. Kemp then lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Watkins. Wessinger was then hit by a pitch, Parque walked and Morris was hit by a pitch as the Red Storm loaded the bases. Panik then singled through the right side to plate two more runs and give St. John's a 14-8 lead.
In the seventh, a one-out single by Watkins set the table for two more Red Storm runs. Witkowski followed with a single through the right side that moved Watkins to third before Kemp plated two runs with a single that put St. John's up 16-8.
St. John's will conclude its three-game set with Rutgers on April 5 at noon.