Five-Run Ninth-Inning Rally Propels St. John's Past Cincinnati, 9-4|
April 21, 2012
CINCINNATI - After allowing the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth, St. John's exploded for a five-run rally in the ninth inning to defeat Cincinnati, 9-4, and take the second game of a three-game series. Pat Talbut, Danny Bethea and Bret Dennis had two RBI apiece to lead St. John's (24-15, 10-4), while Kyle Richardson and Frank Schwindel had two hits each. Jeremy Baltz, meanwhile, finished 1-for-3 with an RBI to become the program's all-time RBI leader with 179. Stephen Rivera (4-0) earned the win, allowing one unearned run in 3.0 innings of relief, while Sean Hagan allowed three runs in 6.0 innings to take a no-decision. T.J. Jones had two RBI for Cincinnati (13-26, 2-12), while Zach Isler (0-5) took the loss after surrendering three runs, two earned, without recording an out.
Cincinnati used four-straight one-out singles to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After a strikeout, Justin Glass and Joey Bielick followed with consecutive singles before a double steal set up runners on second and third. Jones then lined a two-run single into right field to put the Bearcats on the board. Matt Williams followed with another single, but Hagan stranded a pair with a strikeout and a groundout.
St. John's answered immediately, plating a pair of two-out runs to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second. Baltz reached on a throwing error to open the frame before Sean O'Hare singled and a wild pitch set up runners on second and third with no outs. After starter Zach Morris retired the next two batters, Dennis lined a two-strike, two-run single into center field to even the score.
The Bearcats retook the lead in the bottom of the frame, however, after a leadoff double set up a Jake Proctor RBI groundout to make it a 3-2 game.
Hagan, who retired the final three batters in the second inning, worked a 1-2-3 third and eventually retired eighth-straight before allowing a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth.
St. John's chased Morris and retook the lead with two runs in the sixth. A leadoff walk to Bethea sent Cincinnati to the bullpen in favor of Art Warren. Zach Lauricella moved Bethea to second with a sacrifice bunt before back-to-back walks to Dennis and Richardson loaded the bases and sent the Bearcats back to the bullpen. Talbut then greeted Thomas Gentile with a two-run single into right field to give the Red Storm a 4-3 advantage.
After Rivera entered in the seventh and worked a scoreless frame, the Bearcats rallied for a run in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Williams walked to lead off the inning before Braden Kline laid a bunt down the first baseline, but reached on an error by Rivera to set up runners on first and third with no outs. J.P. Jackson then tied the game with a sacrifice fly into center before Rivera got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
A leadoff walk to Richardson set the table for a five-run rally in the ninth as St. John's retook the lead, 9-4. Richardson then stole second before Talbut grounded back to Isler, who threw errantly to third in an attempt to get the lead runner. The error allowed Richardson to score as Talbut took second. Wessinger followed with an RBI double into right center and Cincinnati went back to the bullpen. Schwindel then greeted Cory Hough with a single to set up runners on the corners before Baltz lined an RBI single into left field. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Bethea lined a two-run single into right center to give the Red Storm a 9-4 lead.
Rivera stayed on to close out the win with a 1-2-3 frame in the bottom of the ninth.
St. John's concludes its series at Cincinnati with a 1 p.m. game on April 22.