Baseball: WVU Loses in Walk-Off Fashion

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • March 30, 2012 06:33 PM
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JAMAICA, N.Y. – A bases loaded walk-off sacrifice fly by Sean O’Hare in the bottom of ninth led St. John’s to a 7-6 victory over West Virginia on Friday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium.

With the game tied at 6-6 going into the bottom of the ninth, St. John’s began to rally as Matt Wessinger singled through the left side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jeremy Baltz was then intentionally walked, and after both runners advanced on a passed ball, Zach Lauricella was intentionally walked, leading to the O’Hare sacrifice fly to score Wessinger from third.

Right-handed reliever Dan Dierdoff took the loss for WVU, allowing one run on three hits in 2.2 innings. Dierdorff struck out one and walked three, all intentional. Stephen Rivera got the win for St. John’s in relief, pitching 4.1 innings of one-hit baseball, and striking out six.

WVU (11-17, 0-4 BIG EAST) scored six runs on eight hits with two errors, while St. John’s (14-11, 3-1) scored seven runs on 12 hits with one error.

After a quick first three innings, the Mountaineers went up 2-0 with no outs in the fourth inning on their first back-to-back home runs of the season. First baseman Ryan McBroom led off with his third home run of the season, while left fielder Matt Frazer followed suit with his second of the season. Both players went over the left field fence for WVU.

St. John’s, however, came back in the bottom of the inning and scored five runs, including three with two outs. Danny Bethea and Jimmy Brennan each recorded RBI doubles in the inning, while Pat Talbut, Baltz, Lauricella and Anthony Iacomini had singles to bring the score to 5-2 in favor of the Red Storm.

The Mountaineers were able to counter with a big inning of their own, recording a four-run sixth inning to retake the lead at 6-5. Center fielder Bobby Boyd singled to left center to load the bases after right fielder Brady Wilson singled and catcher Alan Filauro walked previously. McBroom then picked up two more RBIs on a single to center field, scoring Filauro and Wilson. Shortstop John Polonius loaded the bases again for WVU as he beat out an infield single to shortstop, while two more WVU runners scored when the St. John’s shortstop committed an error attempting to get designated hitter Tyler Steele-Worsham out to end the inning.

WVU starter Corey Walter’s only blemish was the fourth inning, as he handled the Red Storm during the time he was in the game. Walter went six innings and allowed five runs on nine hits, while striking out two. More importantly, Walter went without allowing a walk in the contest.

Sean Hagan also took a no-decision for the Red Storm, pitching 4.2 innings while allowing four earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

After Dierdorff entered the game in relief of Walter during the seventh, WVU lost the lead as St. John’s tied it at 6-6 on a Lauricella single through the left side to score Baltz from third out on a full-count with two outs.

WVU threatened in the top of the ninth when Wilson smacked a one-out single up the middle, but St. John’s right fielder Martin Kelly made an over the shoulder catch on a deep fly ball hit by Boyd to prevent extra bases.

Wilson and McBroom each had two hits, and McBroom scored two runs to go along with three RBIs. Iacomini went 3-for-4 for St. John’s, scoring one run and driving another in. O’Hare finished with two RBIs.

The two squads are back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m., with left-handed pitcher Marshall Thompson getting the nod for WVU, while St. John’s will counter with right-hander Kyle Hansen.