BETHESDA, Md. - No. 15 St. John’s University scored four runs in the top of the ninth, and one in the 11th, to come back and defeat the Georgetown University baseball team, 9-8, on Sunday afternoon in a BIG EAST Conference game at Shirley Povich Field. With the loss, the Hoyas fall to 25-22 overall and 3-9 in BIG EAST play, while SJU improves to 34-8 on the season and 8-4 in conference action.
Jake Kuzbel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) led the GU offense with four hits, while also scoring and driving in a run. Michael DeRenzi (Mendham, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) had two hits, including his team-leading fifth home run of the season, while scoring three times and knocking in three runs. Eric Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Ronald Reagan/TCU/San Jacinto) and Alex Bernauer (Sunnyvale, Calif./Fremont) each finished with two hits, while Bernauer also drove in a pair.
Kevin Superko (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley/Phillips Andover) started on the mound and went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. Brent Killam (Nokomis, Fla./Venice) pitched a career-high 3.1 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run on two hits setting a new personal best with five strikeouts. Joseph Bialkowski (Raleigh, N.C./Needham B. Broughton) allowed just one run in 2.2 innings, finishing with two strikeouts.
St. John’s opened the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the first, taking a 1-0 lead.
After scoring six runs in the first on Saturday, the Hoyas came out swinging on Sunday, again batting around and scoring four runs in the first inning. Zach Racusin (Morristown, N.J./Salisbury School/Marist) started things off with a one-out single and went to third on a double by Kuzbel. A bloop single into right field by Garza scored Racusin, before Kuzbel crossed the plate on a double down the left field line by DeRenzi. Bernauer then delivered a two-out, two-run single through the pitcher’s legs to put GU up, 4-1.
The Red Storm got a run back in the top of the third to cut the lead to 4-2, but Superko stranded runners on the corners to get out of the jam.
Georgetown answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth to push its lead back to three, 5-2. DeRenzi led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a single by Ryan Weisenberg (Parkland, Fla./San Ramon Valley [Calif.]). After a double steal put two runners in scoring position, Richie O’Reilly (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Loyola HS) hit a ground ball to third for a fielder’s choice RBI as DeRenzi beat the throw home.
DeRenzi extended the lead to 7-2 with a two-out, two-run home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Garza who had doubled.
St. John’s loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the seventh, but Killam allowed only one run on a sacrifice fly as he stranded two runners with his career-high fifth strikeout.
In the bottom half of the inning, a two-out double by Kuzbel into the left-center field gap pushed the lead back the five, 8-3, as Jake Bernstein (Frederick, Md./St. John’s College HS) crossed the plate after walking earlier in the frame.
The Red Storm scored an unearned run off of Nick Morreale (Lake Elmo, Minn./St. Thomas Academy/IMG Academy) in the eighth to cut GU’s lead to 8-4 before scoring four runs, three of which were unearned, in the top of the ninth off of a trio of Georgetown pitchers to tie the game. In the top of the 11th inning, a two-out walk, stolen base and single scored the game-winning run for the Red Storm.
Georgetown threatened in the bottom half of the inning, putting two runners on with two outs, but a sliding stop by the second baseman took an RBI single away from Bernstein and ended the game.
The Hoyas will play their final nonconference home game on Wednesday, hosting the University of Maryland Eastern shore for a 7 p.m. matchup. Live stats and a video stream will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.
Notes – Kuzbel’s double in the first inning extended his on-base streak to 42-consecutive games, the third-longest streak in the country.