April 14, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Sean Hagan retired the final 10 batters in a row en route to tossing his first-career complete game as St. John's defeated Connecticut, 8-2, in the second game of a three-game BIG EAST series. Pat Talbut was 3-for-5 with one RBI, while Matt Wessinger and Bret Dennis had two RBI apiece to lead St. John's (21-14, 8-3). Hagan (4-2), meanwhile, had three strikeouts and scattered seven hits in the complete game effort, the first for a Red Storm pitcher since April 21, 2011 when Kyle Hansen had a shutout against Notre Dame. Jon Testani and Alex DeBellis had an RBI apiece for Connecticut (19-16, 8-3), while Jordan Tabakman (3-1) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, in 4.0 innings.
Hagan worked a 1-2-3 first and retired the first five batters before a two-out bunt single in the second. The lefty worked another 1-2-3 third inning to retire nine of the first 10 batters he faced.
St. John's then got on the board with a run in the third to take a 1-0 lead. Dennis was plunked with one out before Kyle Richardson reached on an error to set up runners on first and second. After Talbut loaded the bases with an infield single, Wessinger followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
The Huskies answered with a pair of runs in the fourth, however, to go up 2-1. A Tim Martin double to lead off the inning was followed by a single from LJ Mazzilli and UConn had runners on the corners with no outs. Following a strikeout, Testani leveled the score with an RBI single. Tom Verdi was then plunked before a DeBellis RBI single gave UConn the lead, but Hagan escaped with an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
The Red Storm answered immediately, plating three two-out runs in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead. Jeremy Baltz and Sean O'Hare opened the inning with back-to-back singles before a Danny Bethea sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third. Dennis then lined a two-out, two-run single into right field before Talbut followed with an RBI single through the right side to give St. John's a 4-2 advantage.
A leadoff single by Frank Schwindel set up a run in the fifth as the Red Storm went up 5-2. After a walk to Baltz set up runners on first and second, UConn lifted Tabakman in favor of Brian Ward. O'Hare then laid down a sacrifice bunt to set up runners on second and third with one out. Ward retired the next batter, but Schwindel later scored on a wild pitch.
St. John's plated three more runs in the sixth after Richardson set the table with a one-out walk. Talbut followed with a single into right field to set up runners on the corners before Wessinger plated a run with a squeeze bunt and reached safely on an errant throw to first base. Baltz added an RBI single into right field and then stole second as Wessinger swiped home on the delayed double steal to give the Red Storm an 8-2 lead.
After stranding a pair of runners in the sixth, Hagan worked a 1-2-3 seventh. The lefty added 1-2-3 frames in both the eighth and ninth innings to retire the final 10 batters and finish off the complete game effort.
St. John's concludes its three-game series against Connecticut on April 15 with a noon game.