QUEENS, N.Y. - The Seton Hall baseball rallied from a three-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning, but lost to St. John's, 5-4, in 12 innings on Friday.
Senior Benny Mejia (Paterson, N.J.), pitching his second inning of relief gave up a leadoff triple to Jeremy Baltz in the 12th and two batters later, Zack Lauricella hit a bloop single in right field to score Baltz with the winning run.
Seton Hall (32-22, 16-10) appeared headed for a sure loss after tallying just a single unearned run through the game's first eight innings and trailed 4-1 heading into the ninth, but the Pirates rallied. With two outs in the ninth, Mike Genovese (Livingston, N.J.) roped a double into the left center gap to score two runs and pull the Pirates to within one, at 4-3. Giuseppe Papaccio (Nutley, N.J.) followed with a single down the left field line to score Genovese, tying the score and sending the game into extra innings.
With the loss, the Pirates fall to 3-6 in extra inning games this season. It was also the seventh straight game in which Seton Hall scored four runs. They are 4-3 during the stretch.
St. John's (33-20, 18-7) got the board first in the bottom of the second inning. A walk and a pair of singles scored the first run of the game for the Red Storm and put them in position for more, but Zack Granite (Staten Island, N.Y.) made a spectacular diving catch in centerfield, got to his feet and doubled off a runner at second for an inning-ending double-play.
Michael Betz (Mine Hill, N.J.) singled to lead off the third inning for the Pirates. He was sacrificed to second, and a single by Genovese advanced him to third. With two outs, Sal Annunziata (Bronx, N.Y.) hit a routine ground ball to short, but it skipped under Matt Wessinger's glove and the error allowed Betz to score with the tying run.
The Red Storm would break the game open in the bottom of the third. After the Pirates completed a 3-6-3 double-play to empty the bases, St. John's hit four straight singles. Sean O'Hare's single up the middle was the last of the string and scored two runs, giving the Red Storm a commanding 4-1 lead, a lead that would stand until the Pirates' ninth inning dramatics.
Seton Hall starter Ryan Harvey (Manalapan, N.J.) went six innings and gave up four runs, while striking out six and walking three. Due to the Pirates' comeback, he received a no decision.
St. John's starter Sean Hagen was masterful. The big left-hander went eight innings, giving up just one unearned run and struck out five. He too, received a no decision.
Josh Prevost (Belle Mead, N.J.) pitched very well for Seton Hall in relief. The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 2.1 innings of hitless baseball in relief of Harvey.
Seton Hall will return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. for the final game of its three-game set at St. John's and the final game of the 2012 regular season. That game will also be televised by the CBS Sports Network and can be heard on WSOU FM.