May 20, 2011
QUEENS, N.Y. - A Pat Talbut two-out RBI single capped a three-run, eighth-inning rally as St. John's improved to 17-2 at home with an 8-7 win against Villanova, 8-7. Jimmy Brennan (4-for-5, one RBI), Talbut (3-for-5, one RBI) and Joe Panik (3-for-4, one RBI) combined to go 10-for-14 with three RBI to lead St. John's (31-18, 17-8). Eddie Medina (3-1) earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, in 2.1 innings of relief. Dain Hall and Jordan Zech had two RBI apiece to pace Villanova (20-31, 7-19).
St. John's loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. After back-to-back singles by Brennan and Talbut, Panik walked to load the bases before Matt Wessinger put the Red Storm on the board with an RBI fielder's choice. Max Almonte retired the next two batters, however, and St. John's stranded a pair of runners.
Starter Brendan Lobban, meanwhile, retired the first nine batters he faced before allowing a leadoff single in the fourth inning. A sacrifice bunt gave Villanova a runner on second before David Koczirka singled and Matt Fleishman made it a 2-1 game with a sacrifice fly.
Villanova added two runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Tyler Reich singled to lead off the inning before John Cialone laid down a bunt, but reached as Lobban threw errantly to second in an attempt to get the force out. With runners on the corners, Jordan Zech laid down a sacrifice bunt to tie the game at 2-2 before Marlon Calbi gave the Wildcats a lead with an RBI single.
St. John's answered right back to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth as Witkowski drew a lead off walk and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildcats responded again, however, and chased Lobban in a four-run sixth. Steve Schrenk singled with one out before a two-out single set up runners on first and second and St. John's brought in Medina from the bullpen. After walking the first batter to load the bases, Medina walked Zech to force in a run and Villanova took a 4-3 lead. Hall followed with a two-run single, but an overthrow allowed another run to score and the Wildcats led 7-3.
After Medina worked a 1-2-3 seventh, St. John's plated two runs in the bottom of the frame after Witkowski set the table with a lead off walk. Villanova then brought in Kyle Helisek (1-9) and Witkowski moved to second on a wild pitch before a Brennan single set up runners on the corners. Panik then laced a one-out RBI double to right field before Wessinger added an RBI groundout as St. John's pulled to within 7-5.
Medina worked another 1-2-3 inning in the eighth before the Red Storm rallied for three runs with two outs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead, 8-7. Helisek retired the first two batters before Grove singled and Witkowski was plunked to give St. John's runners on first and second. Brennan followed with an RBI single, but advanced to second as Villanova attempted a throw on the lead runner at third. Villanova then went to the bullpen and brought in Mike Francisco with runners on second and third. The first pitch from the reliever, however, was wild and pinch-runner Kyle Richardson raced home to tie the game at 7-7. Talbut then ripped an RBI single inside the third base line to give St. John's an 8-7 lead.
Matt Carasiti worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his fifth save.
St. John's concludes s its series against Villanova with a 1 p.m. game on May 21.