May 27, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. -
After Kyle Hansen allowed just one run in 8.0 innings of work, St. John's won in walk-off fashion for the sixth time this season as Sean O'Hare gave the Red Storm a 3-2 win against USF with a one-out single in the ninth. Hansen surrendered just three hits, while striking out eight batters to lead St. John's (37-18). O'Hare was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Matt Wessinger was 2-for-3 with a home run and Joe Panik was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Stephen Hunt and Todd Brazeal had an RBI each for USF (25-31), while Randy Fontanez (5-7) allowed three runs and had eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings.
USF took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning. After striking out the lead off batter, Hansen plunked Jonathan Koscso before Hunt followed with a one-out RBI double into right field.
St. John's tried putting together a two-out rally in the second as Paul Karmas singled up the middle and O'Hare doubled off the wall in right field to set up runners on second and third. Fontanez, though, induced a groundout to escape the jam.
After Hansen worked a 1-2-3 top of the third, Fontanez used a double play to work a 1-2-3 bottom of the third and the score remained 1-0 through three innings.
St. John's got on the board with a run in the sixth to tie the game. Jimmy Brennan led off the frame with a single up the middle before Wessinger reached on an infield single, but an error on the throw set up runners on the corners. Panik then lined an RBI single into centerfield to tie the game at 1-1.
Following a one-out walk in the fourth, Hansen retired 10-straight Bulls before allowing a two-out single in the seventh.
After Hansen had a pair of strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eighth inning, St. John's took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Fontanez quickly retired the first two batters before Wessinger launched a solo home run to left field on the first pitch of his at-bat.
Hansen was lifted after 8.0 innings of one-run ball, but USF rallied to tie the game at 2-2 in the ninth. Daniel Burawa took the mound and Hunt led off with a single. After a strikeout, Junior Carlin walked before Brazeal tied the game with an RBI single. A walk to Daniel Rockhold loaded the bases with one out and chased Burawa from the game. Ryan Cole (3-1) entered and induced an inning-ending double play as Chad Taylor lined out to Wessinger, who quickly fired to second base to double off Brazeal and send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
St. John's followed by rallying off a trio of USF pitchers to plate the game-winning run. Jeremy Baltz led off with a walk before Greg Hopkins reached first on a fielder's choice as Fontanez tried to get the force at second base, but the throw was not in time. With runners on first and second and no outs, Fontanez was lifted in favor of Trey Dahl. After Dahl induced a fly out, USF brought in Kevin Quackenbush. Karmas then reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases as he bounced a grounder towards third base and Baltz evaded the third baseman's tag. O'Hare followed with an RBI single up the third base line to give St. John's a 3-2 win.
St. John's will now face top-seeded Louisville at 8 p.m. on May 27.
Previewing The Next Game
St. John's went 1-2 against the Cardinals in a series played in Louisville this season. Jeremy Baltz had four home runs in an 8-5 win to open the series, before the Cardinals took the next two games.
St. John's is 6-6 all-time against Louisville in a series that dates back to 2007. The two teams have never met in BIG EAST Tournament play.
Louisville is 47-10 on the year and went 21-6 in BIG EAST action to win the regular season crown. The Cardinals had eight All-BIG EAST selections, including four first-team choices and four second-team honorees, and also had the Pitcher Of The Year in Thomas Royse. Royse (9-1, 2.91), reliever Neil Holland (7-0, 2.01), Andrew Clark (.382, 12 HR, 57 RBI) and Ryan Wright (.362, 15, 71) were first-team selections. Jeff Arnold (.305, 3, 30), Phil Wunderlich (.357, 19, 56), Adam Duvall (.349, 12, 47) and Stewart Ijames (.341, 12, 57) were on the second-team.