St. John's Rallies To Drop UConn, 8-7|
April 25, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - St. John's rallied from a 6-4 sixth-inning deficit to defeat UConn, 8-7, in the second game of the three-game set. Brian Kemp, Jimmy Parque, Matt Wessinger and Carlos Del Rosario had two hits apiece to lead St. John's (23-14, 11-6). Tim Morris added a home run, while Joe Witkowski added an RBI triple. Nick Luisi (3-2) tossed 2.0 scoreless innings and added three strikeouts to earn the win in relief. Peter Fatse was 3-for-4 with a home run to pace UConn (22-19, 8-9).
Kemp doubled just inside the first base line on the first pitch of the game, but was stranded on second base as starter Elliot Glynn retired the next three batters.
St. John's took a 1-0 lead in the second. After Joe Panik drew a four-pitch walk to open the frame, Wessinger singled through the left side. Witkowski then reached on an error to load the bases before Gino Matias put the Red Storm on the board with a sacrifice fly into left field. Kemp reloaded the bases with an infield single, his second hit in two at-bats, but Glynn retired Parque to end the frame.
UConn took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Fatse led off with a solo home run to center field to tie the game at 1-1. Mike Nemeth then doubled before a Nick Ahmed single set up first and third. A wild pitch gave UConn a 2-1 lead before a Pierre LePage RBI single up the middle made it 3-1. Harold Brantley then doubled over the head of Kemp in left field, but LePage was thrown out at home after a good relay throw from Panik.
Morris led off the third with his ninth home run of the season, a blast over the wall in right center field. Paul Karmas then doubled off the wall in left before moving to third on a groundout. Karmas raced home to tie the game at 3-3 when Del Rosario reached on a fielding error by the first baseman.
The Red Storm retook the lead with two outs in the fifth. After the first two batters were retired, Del Rosario drew a walk before Witkowski tripled off the wall in center field to put St. John's up 4-3.
UConn evened the score at 4-4 with a two-out RBI single by Matt Burnett.
The first two batters reached for the Huskies in the sixth as Springer led off with a single and Fatse followed with a bunt single. After both runners tagged up and advanced on a fly out to center, Elliot plated a run with a sacrifice fly to give UConn a 5-4 lead. Ahmed added an RBI single through the right side and the Huskies led 6-4 through six innings.
St. John's added a run to make it 6-5 in the seventh. Wessinger doubled off the wall in right center to lead off the frame and moved to third on a passed ball. Del Rosario then lined an RBI single over the head of the shortstop to prompt UConn to go to the bullpen. After Del Rosario stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, reliever Dusty Odenbach retired Kemp to end the inning.
The Red Storm plated two runs in the eighth to retake the lead, 7-6. After a lead off single by Parque, Panik drew a two-out walk. Wessinger then lifted a fly ball into shallow center field that was dropped, allowing two runs to score. Del Rosario followed with an infield single that the catcher Pavone came out to field. Wessinger tried to race home on the play, but Pavone recovered in time to make the tag for the third out.
St. John's tacked on an insurance run in the ninth to take an 8-6 lead. After pinch hitter Kevin Watkins was plunked, Scott Ferrara entered as a pinch runner. Parque then blasted a two-out, RBI double that landed at the base of the wall in right center.
Ryan Cole entered in the ninth and walked the first two batters of the inning. After Brantley moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt, Brannon plated a run with an RBI groundout. Cole then induced a game-ending groundout to notch his third save and second in as many days.
St. John's will take on UConn in the series finale at noon on April 26.