QUEENS, N.Y. - Junior Mike Genovese (Livingston, N.J.) pitched 4.2 innings of two-hit relief and Mike Betz (Mine Hill, N.J.) drove in the tying run, and scored the winning run, as the Seton Hall baseball team rallied late again to edge St. John's, 5-4, in 11 innings on Saturday.
The victory gives the Pirates a series win at St. John's, their fourth straight BIG EAST series victory. It also completes the 2012 regular season for Seton Hall with a 33-22 overall record, one shy of its total from last season. The Pirates finished the BIG EAST slate with a 17-10 record, the most wins since 2000.
Genovese came on to pitch from second base with one out in the seventh inning and held the Red Storm to just two hits over the final 4.2 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season and lower his ERA to 0.68.
Trailing 4-3 in the eighth, cardiac Pirates rallied for a second straight day. Scott Kalamar (Bethlehem, Pa.) drilled a one-out double into the right field corner, and with two outs, Betz lined a single up the middle to tie the game at four.
Then, with Genovese pitching masterfully, the Pirates took the lead in the top of the 11th. Betz was again the catalyst, leading off with a hustle double to right centerfield. A balk advanced him to third and Zack Granite (Staten Island, N.Y.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right to score the go-ahead run.
Granite, playing in his third straight game since missing time with a hamstring injury harassed Red Storm pitching at the top of the Pirates' order all day. The center fielder went 3-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, a sacrifice and two runs scored.
Giuseppe Papaccio (Nutley, N.J.) went 2-for-6 with a pair of RBIs.
The Pirates' offense struck right away, scratching across a run in the top of the first inning. Granite singled through the left side and advanced to second on a balk. With two outs, Papaccio knocked in Granite with a single to left for his 31st RBI of the season.
In the top of the third, Seton Hall took advantage of the wildness of St. John's starter Kyle Hansen. The right-hander gave up two hits, two walks and hit a batter en route to two more Pirate runs. Papaccio's second hit of the game drove in Seton Hall's second run, while Kalamar walked with the bases loaded to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
St. John's offense finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth inning. A double and a triple to lead off the inning, followed by a sacrifice fly, cut Seton Hall's lead to 3-2. The Red Storm tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI triple by Jimmy Brennan, and took the lead in the sixth on a solo home run by Jeremy Baltz.
Lost in all of the dramatics was a stellar starting pitching performance by freshman Jose Lopez (Cranbury, N.J.). The right-hander gave up three earned runs over five innings, while striking out six and walking just two.
The extra-innings affair was the 10th of the season for Seton Hall. The Pirates are now 4-6 in those games.
Seton Hall has now completed the 2012 regular season and will return to the diamond on Wednesday for the first round of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship in Clearwater, Fla. Every game of tournament will be video streamed live and free of charge at www.bigeast.tv. WSOU will also broadcast all of Seton Hall's games on 89.5 FM WSOU.