St. John's Tops VCU 8-6 in Elimination Game
CHARLOTTESVILLE – St. John’s topped VCU 8-6 in an elimination game of the Charlottesville Regional on Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Red Storm used four home runs to pick up the win and stay alive in the regional.
Matt Wessinger went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs to lead St. John’s. Jimmy Parque and Sean O’Hare each went 2-for-3 for the Red Storm.
Sean Hagan pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits to pick up his fifth win of the year (5-1). Blake Hauser lasted just two innings, allowing five runs on four hits, to take the loss for VCU, dropping him to 4-4.
VCU (34-26-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Brent Mikionis hit a two-run homer just left of the batter’s eye in straight away center.
St. John’s (41-19) answered with three of home runs in the bottom of the first. Wessinger, Joe Panik and Jeremy Baltz hit back-to-back-to-back solo homers to give the Red Storm a 3-2 lead.
The Rams drew even with a run in the top of the second. Doug Otto drew a leadoff walk and later scored on Taylor Perkins’ RBI groundout.
The Red Storm retook the lead in the bottom of the second, 5-3, as Wessinger hit his second homer in as many innings, a two-run shot to left.
In the bottom of the fourth, St. John’s added two more runs. Wessinger’s RBI single and Baltz’s sacrifice fly made the score 7-3.
St. John’s added one last run in the bottom of the eighth. O’Hare led off with a single and eventually came around to score on a groundout.
In the top of the ninth, the Rams put together a rally. Walks loaded the bases with one out before Joe Van Meter’s two-out single scored two runs, to cut the lead to 8-5. Mikionis followed with an RBI single that cut the lead to 8-6 and brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate. But M.L. Morgan’s foul ball down the leftfield line was caught to seal the win for St. John’s.
Mikionis led VCU by going 4-for-5 with three RBIs in the game.
The five combined home runs in the game set a record for a NCAA Tournament game at Davenport Field. The previous record was four, set between Rutgers and Lafayette in 2007.
St. John’s will meet the loser of tonight’s Virginia-Ole Miss game in another elimination game on Sunday at 1 p.m.