Baseball earns No. 3 seed in Big East Tournament
The baseball team locked up the No. 3 seed in the Big East Championship by taking the rubber game of their series with St. John’s, 5-4, in 11 innings.
First baseman Michael Betz scored on a sacrifice fly from center fielder Zack Granite to give the Pirates the 5-4 advantage. Betz reached base in the 11th inning with a double to right center and advanced to third on a balk by Kevin Kilpatrick.
Second baseman Mike Genovese, who pitched the final 4.2 innings, picked up the win by giving up no runs and only two hits.
The Pirates will play in-state rival and No. 6 seeded Rutgers, who won the series earlier in the season, in the first game of the tournament.
The win knocks St. John’s into a tie for the Big East regular season title and the second seed in the Big East Championship.
The Pirates started the scoring in the first inning when shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio singled past third baseman Sean O’Hare’s glove, scoring Zack Granite with two outs. Papaccio was thrown out at second, after the run had scored.
Papaccio struck again in the top of the third, driving home Granite with an infield single to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
First baseman Sal Annunziata was hit by a pitch to load the bases for left fielder Scott Kalamar.
Kalamar drew a walk to bring right fielder Will Walsh home to take a 3-0 lead.
St. Johns answered in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring two runs, highlighted by an RBI triple off the bat of Frank Schwindel.
The Red Storm tied the game in the next inning on a triple from right fielder Jimmy Brennan.
In the top of the sixth, Brian Gilbert came in to relieve freshman Jose Lopez. However, the first batter Gilbert faced, left fielder Jeremy Batz, went deep for St. John’s fourth unanswered run.
In the eighth inning Betz singled up the middle to bring home catcher Tyler Boyd to tie the game at 4-4.
The Pirates will play the first game of Big East Championship at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.