TUCSON, Ariz. -- After falling behind by five runs in the fourth inning, Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the 10th to defeat St. John's, 7-6, in the best-of-three Tucson Super Regional opener at Hi Corbett Field on Friday.
Sean O'Hare's RBI double in the 10th gave St. John's a 6-5 lead, but Bobby Brown's one-out single off Kevin Kilpatrick in the bottom of the inning tied it. With the bases loaded and one out, Trent Gilbert ripped James Lomangino's 1-and-2 fastball up the alley in right-center to win it.
"In the top of the 10th, the emotions ran pretty high," O'Hare said. "The next half-inning, they came right at us and scored."
St. John's coach Ed Blankmeyer called it "character time."
Said O'Hare, "I think today we proved to ourselves that we can hit with the best of them and pitch with the best of them."
The Red Storm led 5-0 through 3½ innings and had 18 hits, including 17 off Arizona ace Kurt Heyer, the most he's ever allowed. Arizona had 11 hits, but St. John's walked six Wildcats, committed one costly error and struggled to cover Hi Corbett's spacious outfield.
"We gave them some things. They didn't give us anything -- we took it from them," Blankmeyer said. "We had them on the ropes and we didn't finish the job."
Zach Lauricella had four hits, Jimmy Brennan, Frank Schwindel and Bret Dennis added three each and O'Hare and Jeremy Baltz had two each for St. John's. The Storm ripped seven hits during a five-run fourth, including RBI singles by Baltz, Lauricella, Dennis and Brennan, and Kyle Richardson added a sacrifice fly.
But Brown's RBI single in the fourth and Johnny Field's run-scoring single in the fifth brought Arizona within 5-2. With two outs in the sixth, Gilbert's RBI triple and Joey Rickard's run-scoring single made it 5-4 before an error by centerfielder Richardson allowed the tying run to score.
St. John's starter Kyle Hansen, the younger brother of former SJU star Craig Hansen, was stellar early but finished with a bloated statline: five runs, seven hits and four walks in 52/3 innings.