St. John's Advances to Semifinal Round with 6-3 win over Seton Hall

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL
HIGHLIGHTS
INTERVIEW WITH SEAN HAGAN
INTERVIEW WITH ED BLANKMEYER

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Rightfielder Jimmy Brennan went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs while All-BIG EAST First Team pitcher Sean Hagan allowed one run in 7.1 innings to lead St. John's to a 6-3 win against Seton Hall Thursday in a winners' bracket game of the BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Bright House Field.

The win sends the Red Storm (35-21) to the semifinal round of the tournament Saturday, where they will face either Seton Hall (34-23) or Notre Dame at 10 a.m. It will be the third consecutive appearance in the semifinal round for St. John's, which reached the final in 2011 and won the 2010 title. Seton Hall will face Notre Dame Friday at 3 p.m. in an elimination game.

Hagan scattered six hits and didn't allow an extra-base hit until Will Walsh's RBI triple in the top of the eighth inning. By that time, St. John's had built a 6-0 lead as the Red Storm rapped 10 hits in the first seven frames.

Brennan's RBI single to leftfield in the third inning gave the Red Storm a 1-0 lead, and St. John's added three more in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of three hits, a passed ball and a Seton Hall error. Shortstop Matt Wessinger drove home Kyle Richardson with a base hit to right and Brennan scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Frank Schwindel to make it 3-0. The lead grew to four runs when the Pirates couldn't handle Jeremy Batlz's grounder to shortstop, allowing Wessinger to score from third.

Brennan hit another RBI single to left-center in the top of the seventh inning to make it 5-0 and he scored on Schwindel's base hit up the middle to give the Red Storm a six-run lead.

Hagan cruised until eighth inning, when the Pirates put two runs on the board. Will Walsh's triple to right-center scored Zach Granite from first base for Seton Hall's first run, and Walsh came home on Giuseppe Papaccio's grounder to short off reliever Stephen Rivera to make it 6-2.

The Pirates threatened in the top of the ninth as the first three batters reached base and leftfielder Scott Kalamar scored on pinch hitter Chase Gray's grounder to second. But the Red Storm came up with a big out when pinch runner Chris Selden was thrown out at third on the play. Southpaw Kevin Kilpatrick took over from there, recording the final two outs in order to pick up his fourth save of the year.

Hagan threw 104 pitches in 7.1 innings to get the win, improving to 7-2. Seton Hall starting pitcher Ryan Harvey allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits in 4.2 innings and took the loss, falling to 6-4. Third baseman Kyle Grimm went 3-for-4 for the Pirates, who saw a five-game winning streak in the BIG EAST Championship snapped.



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. 1 Louisville 8, No. 8 Pittsburgh 4
Game 4 - No. 5 Connecticut 7, No. 4 USF 2

Thursday, May 24
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 5 - Notre Dame 9, Rutgers 0 (Rutgers eliminated)
Game 6 - St. John's 6, Seton Hall 3
Game 7 - USF (34-21) vs. Pittsburgh (28-27), 5 p.m.
Game 8 - Louisville (39-18) vs. Connecticut (30-25-1), 8 p.m.

Friday, May 25
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 9 - Seton Hall (34-23) vs. Notre Dame (30-26), 3 p.m.
Game 10 - Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 7, 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 26
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com)
Game 11 - St. John's (35-21) 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