May 2, 2009
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Junior Bruce Kern allowed just one run in 5.1 innings to lead St. John's to a 4-1 win in game one, before Seton Hall rallied to from a 5-0 deficit to take game two, 8-7, in 13 innings. Paul Karmas combined to go 5-for-9 with two RBI, while Tim Morris was 3-for-8 with an RBI to lead St. John's (27-16, 14-7). Kern (4-2) scattered five hits and added three strikeouts. Matt Smedberg was 6-for-9 with two RBI to pace Seton Hall (21-21, 10-11).
St. John's took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one. After Morris drew a two-out walk, Karmas doubled just inside the third base bag. Joe Panik then reached on an error by the third baseman and Morris scored from third.
Kern worked around a pair of base runners in each of the three innings, but kept Seton Hall off the board. The Pirates biggest threat was in the third after back-to-back walks opened the inning, but Kern rolled a 4-6-3 double play and tallied a strikeout to end the frame.
Karmas led off a two-run fourth with his second double of the game and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Carlos Del Rosario then gave St. John's a 2-0 lead, plating Karmas with an RBI infield single deep into the hole at second base. Joe Witkowski followed with an RBI triple past the dive of the right fielder.
Jimmy Parque extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a lead off triple in the fifth. Morris followed with an RBI double into right field and St. John's led 4-0.
Seton Hall got on the board with a run in the sixth after Esposito led off with a single. Esposito stole second and came around to score on a Walsh RBI single. Nick Luisi then replaced Kern and induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Luisi allowed a lead off single in the seventh and Ryan Cole entered. After allowing a walk, Cole induced a 4-6-3 double play before getting the final out to earn his fifth save of the year.
In the first inning of game two St. John's took a 2-0 lead with the help of four-consecutive one-out singles. Parque extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a single up the middle before singles by Morris and Karmas loaded the bases. Panik then gave St. John's a 2-0 lead with a two-run single through the right side.
St. John's added three runs in the second to go up 5-0. After Gino Matias singled and Brian Kemp walked, Parque lined an RBI single up the middle and moved to second on the throw. Morris was then intentionally walked to load the bases before Karmas lined an RBI single into left field and the bases remained loaded with one out. Panik followed with an RBI fielder's choice.
Seton Hall got on the board with a run in the bottom of the second. A.J. Rusbarsky led off with a single before Sean Gusrang reached on an error to set up first and third. Michael Betz then put the Pirates on the board with a one-out RBI fielder's choice.
Wessinger led off the fifth with a double into left and moved to third on a Del Rosario sacrifice bunt before scoring on a Danny Benedetti sacrifice fly that made the score 6-1.
The Pirates added three runs in the fifth after Bobby Migliazzi led off with a single. After a one-out single by Chris Fontenelli, Matt Smedberg lined an RBI double into right field. Affinito followed with an RBI before Rusbarsky followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 6-4.
Seton Hall tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth. Frank Esposito led off with a single and came around to score on a Will Walsh RBI single. A Fontenelli single gave the Pirates runners on first and third and chased starter Nick Cenatiempo from the game. Smedberg then greeted reliever Stephen Rivera with a slow rolling RBI infield single that tied the game at 6-6.
After striking out the lead off batter in the eighth, Luisi issued back-to-back walks. Smedberg then singled deep in the hole between first and second, but second baseman Wessinger came up throwing and St. John's got the second out at home as Witkowski applied the tag. The Red Storm then went to the bullpen and brought in Cole to get the final out.
St. John's retook the lead, 7-6, in the ninth. Morris drew a lead off walk in the ninth and Karmas lined an RBI double into left center, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Rusbarsky singled off Cole to lead off the bottom of ninth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a strikeout, Charlie Rivera doubled to tie the game at 7-7.
Seton Hall threatened in the tenth, but was kept off the board. After Fontenelli was plunked, St. John's brought in Eddie Medina. A wild pitch moved Fontenelli to second before Medina walked Smedberg. Affinito followed with a sacrifice bunt that gave the Pirates runners on second and third. Rusbarsky then sent a fly ball into shallow center and Fontenelli tagged and raced home. Parque caught the ball and threw home and Witkowski made the tag to end the inning.
Gusrang singled into right to lead off the 11th and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Chris Spagnuolo singled to set up first and third, Medina rolled a 6-4-3 double play to keep the Pirates off the board.
Steve Forster retired the side in order, including two strikeouts, in the bottom of the 12th. In the bottom of the 13th, Affinito drew a lead off walk and pinch runner Michael Rogers advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Following an intentional walk, Forster walked Esposito to load the bases. Forster (0-1) then threw to third to keep Rogers close, but the throw was wild and Rogers trotted home to give the Pirates an 8-7 win.
St. John's will next host a double header against Iona beginning at 2 p.m. on May 5.