TUCSON, Ariz. - Trent Gilbert's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Arizona a 7-6 come-from-behind win against St. John's Friday in Game 1 of an NCAA Super Regional Series at Hi Corbett Field.
The Wildcats, who overcame 5-0 deficit to force extra innings, scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th after St. John's had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the inning. St. John's (40-22) will need to win the next two games of the best-of-three series to advance to its first College World Series since 1980.
St. John's had 18 hits on the day, but only one that went for extra bases. That lone extra-base hit put the Red Storm in position to win, however, as Sean O'Hare's one out double brought Frank Schwindel in from second base after Schwindel led off the inning with a single and took second on a passed ball.
Arizona came up with a key defensive play in the 10th as Zach Lauricella smacked a base hit to left, but O'Hare was thrown out at the plate attempting to give St. John's a two-run lead.
The Wildcats got the leadoff man on in the bottom of the 10th as cleanup hitter Robert Refsnyder drew a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Bobby Brown's single to centerfield brought Refsnyder home to tie the game, and after a base hit and a walk, Gilbert laced a base hit to rightfield to score Brown and end the game.
St. John's had built a 5-0 lead, scoring five times in the top of the fourth as the first five Red Storm batters had base hits and came around to score. But Arizona chipped away with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before tacking on three runs in the sixth.
Gilbert and Brown both had two hits and two RBIs for Arizona (42-17). Wildcat starting pitcher Kurt Heyer pitched into the 10th inning, allowing 17 hits and six runs with four strikeouts in a no-decision, while Mathew Troupe got the win in relief, improving to 4-1.
Lauricella went 4-for-5 for St. John's, while Schwindel, Jimmy Brennan and Bret Dennis had three hits each. Starting pitcher Kyle Hansen allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in 5.2 innings. Kevin Kilpatrick took the loss in relief, falling to 3-3.
The teams resume the series Saturday with a 3 p.m. ET first pitch on ESPN2. A St. John's win Saturday would set up a deciding third game Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.
NCAA Super Regional (best-of-three series)
at Hi Corbett Field, Tucson, Ariz.
Friday, June 8
Game 1 - Arizona 7, St. John's 6 (10 innings)
Game 2 - St. John's at Arizona, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 3 - St. John's at Arizona, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2 ) - if necessary