April 13, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Matt Carasiti tossed 6.2 innings of two-run ball, while Stephen Rivera had five strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings as St. John's defeated Connecticut, 7-2, to open a three-game BIG EAST series. Frank Schwindel finished 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead St. John's (20-14, 7-3), while Matt Wessinger was 1-for-2 with three runs and two stolen bases and Sean O'Hare was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Carasiti (3-2) had four strikeouts and allowed just four hits to earn the win. Eric Yavarone was 2-for-3 with an RBI to pace Connecticut (19-15, 8-2), while David Fischer (3-4) took the loss after allowing seven runs, four earned, in 7.1 innings of work.
After Carasiti worked a quick 1-2-3 first inning, a leadoff single by Ryan Fuller in the second set the table for a two-run frame for UConn. Jon Testani was then plunked before a one-out walk loaded the bases and a second-straight walk forced in a run and put the Huskies on the board. Carasiti rebounded with a strikeout, but then plunked Billy Ferriter to force in a run and make it a 2-0 game.
Carasiti settled down, working a 1-2-3 third inning and eventually retiring five-straight before a one-out walk in the fourth.
St. John's tied the game in the fourth, taking advantage of a leadoff walk and using a pair of two-out singles to extend the frame. After the leadoff walk to Wessinger, the next two batters were retired before O'Hare singled for the second time in as many at-bats to set up runners on the corners. Danny Bethea then blooped an RBI single into right field, but the ball skipped past the outfielder allowing another run to come home and tying the game at 2-2.
Another leadoff walk to Wessinger led to a run in the sixth as the Red Storm grabbed a 3-2 lead. Wessinger then stole second before Schwindel lined an RBI single into left field.
Carasiti, meanwhile, added a 1-2-3 fifth inning to retire another five-straight. A two-out single in the sixth inning was the first hit surrendered by the righty since the second inning.
The Huskies threatened and chased Carasiti in the seventh, but were kept off the board. After a leadoff single and a two-out infield single gave UConn runners on first and second, St. John's went to the bullpen. Rivera entered and needed just two pitches to induce an inning-ending groundout.
St. John's then put up a four-spot in the eighth to grab a 7-2 advantage. After beating out an infield single, Kyle Richardson moved to second on a Pat Talbut sacrifice bunt and took third on a Wessinger infield single. Schwindel followed with an RBI single into centerfield before Wessinger swiped third base and Jeremy Baltz walked to load the bases and prompt a pitching change. O'Hare greeted reliever Carson Cross with a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield and both runners tagged up to give the Red Storm runners on second and third. Bethea then reached on a throwing error and two more runs scored to give St. John's a 7-2 lead.
Connecticut tried to put together another rally in the ninth, but was again kept off the board. Back-to-back singles opened the inning before a one-out walk loaded the bases, but Rivera used back-to-back strikeouts to close out the game and notch his second save of the season.
St. John's continues its three-game series against Connecticut on April 14 with a 1 p.m. game.