St. John's Storms Past Notre Dame 12-2 in Seven Innings

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
HIGHLIGHTS
INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY BALTZ
INTERVIEW WITH ED BLANKMEYER

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Catcher Dannny Bethea drove in three runs and was one of eight St. John's batters with at least two hits as the Red Storm rode a seven-run first inning to a 12-2 win against Notre Dame in seven innings in the second game of the 2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Wednesday afternoon at Bright House Field.

St. John's (34-21), the No. 2 seed in the field, advances to meet Seton Hall Thursday at 1 p.m. in a winners' bracket game that will be a rematch of last year's championship final. Notre Dame (29-26) will face Rutgers at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.

St. John's scored six runs before recording an out in the bottom of the first inning as the first eight Red Storm batters reached base off of Notre Dame starting pitcher Pat Connaughton. Bethea delivered the big blow with a two-run double to rightfield, making it 6-0, and centerfielder Kyle Richardson smacked an RBI single to left off reliever Donnie Hissa to make it 7-0 after one inning.

The Irish chipped away with two runs in the top of the second on an RBI single to right by Alex Robinson and a sacrifice fly by Charlie Markson. But the Red Storm countered in the bottom of the second on Sean O'Hare's RBI double, which scored Jeremy Baltz to make it 8-2.

St. John's effectively put the game away in the bottom of the fourth, sending nine men to the plate and scoring four runs on a bases-loaded walk by Zach Lauricella, a sacrifice fly by Bethea and back-to-back RBI singles by Bret Dennis and Richardson, making it 12-2.

The lead proved plenty for Red Storm starter Matt Carasiti (5-5), who worked six innings and allowed just two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. James Lomangino pitched a scoreless seventh inning to end the game by way of the 10-run rule

Five of the nine St. John's starters had at least two hits, while eight of the nine drove in at least one run as the Red Storm had 13 hits in the win.

Notre Dame was led by Robinson, who was 3-for-3, and first-baseman Trey Mancini, who went 3-for-4 as the duo accounted for six of the Irish's nine hits. Connaughton took the loss for the Irish, falling to 5-5.


2012 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Schedule

Wednesday, May 23
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 1 - No. 3 Seton Hall 6, No. 6 Rutgers 1
Game 2 - No. 2 St. John's 12, No. 7 Notre Dame 2 (7 innings)
Game 3 - No. 8 Pittsburgh (28-26) vs. No. 1 Louisville (38-18), 5 p.m.
Game 4 - No. 5 Connecticut (29-25-1) vs. No. 4 USF (34-20), 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 24
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 5 - Rutgers (31-24) vs. Notre Dame (29-26), 10 a.m.
Game 6 - Seton Hall (34-22) vs. St. John's (34-21)
Game 7 - Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 5 p.m.
Game 8 - Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 25
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 9 - Loser of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 5, 4 p.m.
Game 10 - Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 7, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 26
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 11 - Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 9, 10 a.m.
Game 12 - Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 10, 1 p.m.
Game 13 - Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 11, 5 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 14 - Loser of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 12, 6:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.
(if necessary; game would be at 6:30 if Game 13 is not necessary, 8 p.m. otherwise)

Sunday, May 27 - Championship game
(live television on ESPNU)
Game 15 - Winner of Group 1 vs. Winner of Group 2, Noon

All times Eastern