By Adam Zundell for MSNsportsNET.com
April 27, 2003
JAMAICA, N.Y. – West Virginia's Shawn Miller and St. John's Joe Reid staged a terrific battle on the mound, but the Mountaineers scored four runs in the top of the ninth off Red Storm reliever Mike Tamulionis to pull out a 4-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at The Ballpark at St. John's.
Lee Fritz led off the ninth with a bunt single and was followed by Tim McCabe's walk. Jake Serfass then sacrificed them into scoring position. After Kurtis Clinton was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a double play opportunity, Grant Psomas' lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Fritz. McCabe and Clinton advanced into scoring position on a throwing error by the third baseman.
Stan Posluszny responded with an RBI single and Travis D'Amico added a two-run single to left field to give Miller all the runs he would need.
D'Amico was the only Mountaineer to collect more than one hit going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
Miller (5-0) picked up the first shutout of his career by scattering 5 hits and striking out a career-high 11 batters while walking just 2. Miller, who entered the game with just 3 less walks than strikeouts, lowered his ERA from 5.11 to 4.11.
Miller worked his way out of two jams to help keep the game scoreless, stranding two runners in scoring position in the second inning and getting out of trouble in the fifth inning when he forced a pop out to first and a fly out to center to leave runners on the corners.
Reid, who left the game after 8 innings, allowed no runs on just 2 hits striking out 5 and walking 4 before giving way to Tamulionis (2-2) in the ninth.
West Virginia did not get its first hit in the game until Travis D'Amico doubled to right field to lead off the top of the sixth inning. Jarod Rine moved D'Amico to third with a sacrifice bunt and Eric Grimm reached on a walk, but Reid was able to end the inning with a strike out of Lee Fritz and caught Grimm stealing on the play to thwart WVU's best scoring chance of the day at that point.
In game two, both teams battled back and forth before Greg Thomson's base-clearing triple in the bottom of the seventh propelled St. John's to a 7-6 victory in the nightcap.
West Virginia jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead with two runs in the first and second innings, highlighted by a Posluszny solo home run, his fourth on the season. Rine was also a catalyst in the early going hitting a double and a single and scoring two runs in his first two at-bats.
After single runs in the second and third innings, St. John's battled back to tie the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Brian Graiser and Derek Sullivan.
The game did not stay tied for long, though, as Serfass singled in McCabe in the fifth and Clinton hit an RBI single down the right field line to drive in Serfass in the sixth inning.
The Red Storm seized the lead for the first time in the afternoon with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Drew Jackson hit an RBI single to left to cut the lead to 6-5 followed by a base hit by Asa Grunenwald. Thomson's base clearing triple in left center gave SJU a 7-6 lead it would not relinquish.
WVU starter Jason DiAngelo (6-3) gave up seven runs (four earned) on 13 hits while walking one and striking out four.
St. John's reliever Tom Klem (4-2) pitched 3.2 innings in relief allowing just one run on one hit and struck out four on his way to the victory on the hill. Tamulionis rebounded from his tough outing in the first game to pick up his first save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth frame.
West Virginis (28-12, 11-3) and St. John's (23-19, 10-7) will conclude the series with a single game at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
Note: LiveStats of Monday's game will be available at MSNsportsNET.com. Simply click on the Baseball Live Events Schedule on the main page to access the link.