April 5, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Pat Talbut had a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning and Bret Dennis was 3-for-3 as St. John's erased a 3-1 fifth inning deficit to defeat Rutgers, 5-3. Sean O'Hare finished 3-for-5 and Martin Kelly was 2-for-4 to help lead St. John's (17-12, 5-2), while Matt Wessinger, Zach Lauricella and Danny Bethea had an RBI apiece. Stephen Rivera (3-0) had five strikeouts in 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win, while Matt Carasiti worked 5.2 innings of three-run ball for the no-decision. Jeff Melillo was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Tyler Gebler (1-3) took the loss after allowing five runs in 7.1 innings.
St. John's got on the board in the third after Kelly started things with a one-out double to the gap in left center. After Dennis beat out an infield single to set up runners on the corners, Wessinger lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center to give the Red Storm a 1-0 lead.
Rutgers needed just one batter to tie the game at 1-1 as Brian O'Grady led off the bottom of the third with a triple to the wall in center and came around to score on an errant relay throw into third base.
The Red Storm, meanwhile, put together back-to-back two-out singles in the fourth and had consecutive one-out singles in the fifth, but could not get on the board in either inning.
The Scarlet Knights used a leadoff walk to set up a two-run frame in the fifth. O'Grady then squared for a sacrifice bunt, but reached on a bunt single before a sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third. Melillo then lined a two-run single into center field to put Rutgers up 3-1.
St. John's used a two-out rally to answer with a run in the top of the sixth. After O'Hare lined a two-out double to centerfield, Bethea grounded an RBI single through the left side to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth, Carasiti issued a walk and was lifted. Kevin Kilpatrick entered and walked the first batter he faced before inducing a groundout to end the inning.
The Red Storm then took advantage of a leadoff single by Dennis, his third hit of the day, to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh. Dennis stole second before Jeremy Baltz was intentionally walked with two outs to set up runners on first and second. Lauricella then lined an RBI single into right center to tie the score.
Rivera came on in the seventh and retired the first batter before allowing a one-out single. A two-out single then set up runners on first and third, however, before Rivera ended the inning with a strikeout to keep Rutgers off the board.
Another leadoff single set up a two-run eighth inning as St. John's chased Gebler and took a 5-3 lead. After O'Hare singled to lead off the inning and Kelly reached on a one-out infield single, a walk to Dennis loaded the bases and sent Rutgers to the bullpen. Willie Beard entered and got a strikeout before Talbut lined a two-out, two-run single into centerfield to give the Red Storm a 5-3 advantage.
Rivera had two strikeouts in the eighth before using a 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout in the ninth to notch the victory.
St. John's returns to action against Rutgers with a 1 p.m. game on April 6.