June 8, 2012
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TUCSON, Ariz. -
After earning a trip to a Super Regional for the first time in program history by winning its first NCAA Regional since 1980, St. John's (40-21), which is joined by Kent St. as one of two No. 3 seeds to advance to the Super Regionals, takes its seven-game postseason winning streak into the Tucson Super Regional for a best-of-three series with Arizona (41-17) at Hi Corbett Field. The series, which will air in its entirety on ESPN2 with a simulcast on ESPN3, begins with a 3 p.m. game on June 8 and continues with a 3 p.m. game on June 9. If necessary, the third game will be played at 4 p.m. on June 10.
St. John's, which is in the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight season, fifth time in six seasons and seventh time in nine seasons, ranks tied for eighth all-time with 34 NCAA Tournament appearances. The program is 63-60 (.512) all-time in NCAA Tournament play and has reached the College World Series six times, most recently in 1980.
Head coach Ed Blankmeyer has taken the Red Storm to the NCAA Tournament eight times and owns a 12-14 record. Including the Chapel Hill Regional last weekend, the Red Storm is 7-4 in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
Inside The Series With Arizona
St. John's and Arizona have met just three times in a series that dates back to 1960.
St. John's leads the series 2-1, including a 5-4 win in the most recent meeting on March 19, 1993.
The teams have split two games in NCAA Tournament play with both games taking place in the College World Series. The Wildcats grabbed an 11-4 win in the first-ever matchup at the 1960 CWS, while St. John's notched a 6-1 triumph at the 1980 CWS.
Scouting The Wildcats
Arizona is 41-17 on the season and went 20-10 in Pac 12 play. The Wildcats outscored the opposition 47-10 to advance out of the Tucson Regional with a win against Missouri and two wins against Louisville.
Johnny Field bats a team-high .389 to pace an offense that has a .333 team average. Field also leads the team in both runs scored (67) and triples (7) and has 17 doubles and 41 RBI.
Robert Refsnyder leads the team in both home runs (7) and RBI (61), while Seth Mejias-Brean has 56 RBI to go with a team-high 20 doubles.
The pitching staff has a 3.94 ERA and allows a .261 opponent batting average.
Kurt Heyer (12-2, 2.03) has seven complete games and 98 strikeouts in 128.2 innings of work to pace the rotation, while Matthew Troupe (3-1, 3.98) leads the charge out of the bullpen with six saves.
Program-Best Four Players Selected In First Six Rounds To Highlight Five-Man 2012 MLB Draft
Jeremy Baltz and Matt Wessinger became the highest pair of St. John's players drafted since 1998 as the Red Storm had four players selected in the top six rounds for the first time in program history.
Baltz went in the 2nd round (68th overall) to the San Diego Padres, while Wessinger was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round (168th overall).
Matt Carasiti was also taken by the Rockies in the sixth round (198th overall) and Kyle Hansen went to the Chicago White Sox in the sixth round (201st overall).
Sean Hagan was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round (880th overall) to give the Red Storm five selections, its most since also having five players drafted in 2008.
St. John's previously had a pair of selections in the top five rounds in the 1998 draft with Ron Marietta, a fourth round pick (123rd overall) of the Cleveland Indians, and Greg Peterson, a fifth round pick (147th overall) of the Detroit Tigers.
The highest positioning for four draft picks prior to this year occurred in 2005 when St. John's had four players taken in the top 15 rounds.
Baltz Named Chapel Hill Regional MVP; Seven Players Named To Regional All-Tournament Team
Jeremy Baltz batted .400 (4-for-10) with two doubles, one home run and a .900 slugging percentage to earn Chapel Hill Regional MVP honors.
The outfielder, who previously earned Charlottesville Regional MVP honors as a freshman in 2010, scored eight runs, added two RBI and posted a .571 on-base percentage.
Baltz was also one of seven Red Storm players named to the Chapel Hill Regional All- Tournament Team.
Danny Bethea batted .300 (3-for-10) and had a walk-off three-run home run as part of a four-RBI day that sent the Red Storm to the Finals.
Kyle Hansen went 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA and eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings, while Sean O'Hare batted .538 (7-for-13) with a pair of three-hit games.
Kyle Richardson batted .357 (5-for-14) with three RBI, while Frank Schwindel batted .429 (6-for-14) and went 5-for-5 with three runs scored in the Finals.
A three-time Regional All-Tournament Team selection, Matt Wessinger batted .429 (6-for-14) with two RBI and three runs scored. The senior was named to the Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team in both 2011 and 2010.
St. John's Wins First NCAA Regional Since 1980 To Advance To First-Ever NCAA Super Regional
St. John's won its first NCAA Regional since 1980 and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional with a 9-5 win against then-No. 4 North Carolina (June 3), the No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The third-seeded Red Storm went a perfect 3-0 in the regional, notching a 5-4 walk-off win against North Carolina (June 2) to reach the finals after opening play with an 11-3 win against East Carolina (June 1).
St. John's won the 1980 Northeast Regional, and advanced to its sixth College World Series, with a win against Maine and two wins against Harvard.
Schwindel Goes 5-for-5 At UNC For First-Career Five-Hit Game
Frank Schwindel recorded his first-career five-hit game in a 9-5 win against then-No. 4 North Carolina (June 3) in the Chapel Hill Regional Finals.
The sophomore, who recorded his first-career four-hit game earlier this season with a 4-for-5 day against Hofstra (April 11), finished a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored.
The five-hit game was the first by a Red Storm player this season and the first since Matt Wessinger went 5-for-6 against Albany on March 30, 2011.
Walk-Off Win No. 5: Bethea Three-Run Blast Stuns North Carolina
Danny Bethea launched a three-run walk-off home run to erase a 4-2 ninth inning deficit and propel St. John's into the Chapel Hill Regional Finals with a 5-4 win against then-No. 4 North Carolina (June 2).
The victory snapped the Tar Heels' 16-game winning streak in Regional games played at home.
The walk-off blast also marked the fifth walk-off triumph of the season for the Red Storm with Bethea becoming the fifth different player to provide the heroics.