June 7, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
St. John's fell behind 4-1 in the fourth inning, but could not complete a rally and was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a 5-3 defeat against No. 1 Virginia. Matt Wessinger was 3-for-4 and Greg Hopkins was 2-for-4 to lead St. John's (43-20). Jeremy Baltz, Jimmy Parque and Paul Karmas had an RBI each. Pitching on two days rest, Kyle Hansen (8-3) allowed four runs, three earned, in 3.1 innings. Branden Kline (5-0) allowed three runs in 5.1 innings to earn the win for Virginia (50-12).
Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Phil Gosselin singled through the left side on the first pitch of the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Dan Grovatt followed by reaching on an error to set up runners on the corners with one out for the Cavaliers. Grovatt was then thrown out trying to steal second, but Gosselin raced home on the throw and Virginia took a 1-0 lead.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 2-0 in the second. Tyler Cannon lined a one-out single into right field, but was erased as Franco Valdes reached on a fielder's choice. John Barr then walked before Gosselin lined an RBI single up the middle, but Barr was thrown out at the plate attempting to score from first base on the play.
St. John's in the third to close to within 2-1 as Karmas led off the inning with a line drive home run into the left field bleachers.
Virginia manufactured a run in the bottom of the third to go up 3-1. Keith Werman singled up the middle to lead off the inning before stealing second and moving to third on a groundout. Werman then scored on a Steven Proscia sacrifice fly.
Another manufactured run in the fourth gave Virginia a 4-1 lead. John Hicks drew a lead off walk and stole second before advancing to third on a groundout. Valdes followed with an RBI single to chase Hansen. Eddie Medina
entered and induced a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
St. John's chased Kline and added two runs in the sixth inning. Following back-to-back one-out singles by Jimmy Brennan and Wessinger, Joe Panik drew a walk to load the bases. Virginia then brought in Kevin Arico from the bullpen and Baltz reached on an RBI fielder's choice. Parque then blooped an RBI single into left field as St. John's closed to within 4-3, but Baltz was thrown out at third base on the play.
Virginia led off the seventh against Sean Hagan with back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs, but was limited to just one run. After the three singles, Jarrett Parker gave the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead with a sacrifice fly, but Ryan Cole entered and induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Cole kept the Cavaliers off the board with a quick 1-2-3 eighth inning and St. John's went to bat in the ninth trailing 5-3.
Sean O'Hare singled with two outs in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but Arico induced a fly out to end the game.
Following the game, Baltz was named the Charlottesville Regional Most Valuable Player. Baltz, Wessinger and Panik were each named to the All-Tournament team. Baltz batted .438 (7-for-16) with four home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.188 slugging percentage. Wessinger posted a team-best .619 (13-for-21) average, with one double, one triple, two home runs and nine RBI. Panik, meanwhile, had one double, two home runs and five RBI.