Wolverines Overtaken by St. John's Two-Out Hits

Feb. 19, 2011

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Site: St. Petersburg, Fla. (Al Lang Field)
Event: Big Ten/Big East Challenge
Score: St. John's 13, Michigan 6
Records: U-M (0-2), St. John's (2-0)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 20 -- vs. Connecticut (Clearwater, Fla.), 10 a.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- St. John's used some two-out magic in the fourth and sixth innings, plating four runs apiece in defeating the University of Michigan baseball team, 13-6, on day two (Saturday, Feb. 19) of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge at Al Lang Field.

Michigan was led at the plate by sophomore Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child), who went 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a run batted in. Junior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley), sophomore Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Northern) and freshman Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) had two hits apiece for the Wolverines.

St. John's plated a run apiece in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. A groundout from Frankie Schwindel scored Paul Karmas with the game's first run in the second. In the third frame, Sean O'Hare singled to centerfield to score Jeremy Baltz. The Red Storm then put up a four-spot in the fourth. Rowan Wick was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He moved to second on a single from Joe Witkowski. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base. Junior John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) then made a nice play and throw to gun out Wick trying to score for the second out. An infield single from Joe Panik loaded the bases and Baltz unloaded them with a double to the leftfield gap, making it 6-0 St. John's.

Michigan put up a pair of runs in the fourth as Crank doubled and redshirt sophomore Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central) reached on a fielding error from O'Hare. Dennis loaded the bases with a single and redshirt junior Garrett Stephens (Davison, Mich./Davison) brought in Crank with the first of his two sacrifice flies. St. John's brought in Stephen Rivera to relief starter Matt Carasiti and Rivera struck out freshman pinch hitter Alex Lakatos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), but O'Neill followed with a single to score Krantz.

St. John's came right back with two runs in the fifth on a two-out, two-run double from Matt Wessinger. The Red Storm then scored four more in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single from Jimmy Brennan.

Stephens had his second sacrifice fly in the eighth, again scoring Crank. St. John's brought in a run in the ninth, but Michigan made a late rally in its last at-bat. O'Neill started the frame with a double and moved to third on a Brennan error in rightfield. He scored on a Biondi single. Biondi then moved to third on a single from redshirt senior Anthony Toth (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and scored on a Lorenz single, making it 13-6. However, the Red Storm induced a double play off Krantz. Freshman Adam Robinson (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) walked, bringing in Kevin Kilpatrick for the Red Storm. He got Stephens to ground out to end the game.

Sophomore Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) was tagged with the loss. He went 3.2 innings, allowing six runs and nine hit with a pair of strikeouts and walks. The relief corps was highlighted by senior Travis Smith (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin), who struck out the side in the seventh.

Panik had three of St. John's 17 hits on the day, while five other Red Storm hitters had two safties apiece. The win on the mound went to Rivera, who pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief and struck out three Wolverines.

Michigan will wrap up play in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge this Sunday (Feb. 20) against No. 22 Connecticut. The game starts at 10 a.m. at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Fla.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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