May 8, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - Joe Witkowski had a two-run walk-off single as St. John's won in walk-off fashion for the fifth time this season, completing a sweep of Pittsburgh with an 8-7 win in 10 innings. Witkowski was 2-for-5 with two RBI, while Robert Case was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Joe Panik had a solo home run to lead St. John's (26-17, 13-7). Sean Hagan (4-2) earned the win after tossing 1.0 inning of relief, while Kevin Kilpatrick earned a no-decision after allowing four runs, zero earned, in 6.0 innings of work. John Schultz and Phil Konieczny had three hits apiece to pace Pittsburgh (28-18, 12-9).
St. John's took the early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Panik launched a two-out solo home run to right field.
Pittsburgh answered with a pair of unearned runs in the third to grab a 2-1 advantage. Zach Duggan walked with one out and later scored when Kevan Smith reached on an error with two outs in the inning. David Chester then gave the Panthers the lead with an RBI double to left field.
The Red Storm benefitted from four Pittsburgh errors in the fourth and retook the lead, 5-2. Panik reached on an error to lead off the inning and promptly stole second before scoring on a Matt Wessinger RBI single up the middle. Jeremy Baltz followed with an RBI triple to the wall in right center to put St. John's on top, 3-2, before Case roped a one-out RBI double into left field and later scored as Witkowski reached on an error.
The Panthers answered right back, however, plating two runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 5-4 game. After Duggan reached on an error with one out, a Schultz double set up runners on second and third with one out. Smith then added an RBI groundout before a Travis Whitmore RBI double into the left field corner made it 5-4.
Pitt tied the game at 5-5 with a run in the seventh. Kilpatrick was lifted in favor of Matt Carasiti to open the frame and Duggan greeted the reliever with a double. After moving to third on a balk, Duggan scored on a Schultz RBI single up the middle that tied the game at 5-5.
St. John's got the run right back, however, as Pat Talbut drew a lead off walk and Panik was plunked to set up runners on first and second with no outs. Wessinger advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt before Baltz was intentionally walked to load the bases. Paul Karmas then laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to put the Red Storm up 6-5, but Pittsburgh used an inning-ending double play to strand a pair of runners.
Pitt tied the game again in the eighth, plating one run to make it a 6-6 score. Konieczny singled up the middle to lead off the inning before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. Konieczny advanced to third on a wild pitch before Rick Devereaux tied the game with a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle.
Following a scoreless ninth, the game headed to extra innings and Hagan entered to pitch for the Red Storm. After Konieczny singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, an Anthony Defabio pinch-hit RBI double gave Pittsburgh a 7-6 lead.
St. John's, however, plated two runs in the 10th to win in walk-off fashion for the fifth time this season. After Pittsburgh reliever Ray Black entered and issued a lead off walk to Baltz, Karmas and Case drew consecutive four-pitch walks to load the bases with no outs. Witkowski then lined a one-out, two-run single through the right side to give the Red Storm an 8-7 victory.
St. John's continues its five-game homestand on May 10, hosting NYIT at 6 p.m. on Senior Day.