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St. John's Advances To First-Ever NCAA Super Regional With 9-5 Win Against No. 4 North Carolina
One day after defeating the fourth-ranked Tar Heels in walk-off fashion, St. John's downed North Carolina, 9-5, to win its first NCAA Regional since 1980 and punch its ticket to a Super Regional for the first time in program history. Frank Schwindel was 5-for-5 to lead St. John's (40-21), which reached the 40-win plateau for the sixth time in the past eight years. Sean O'Hare and Robert Case had two RBI apiece to help pace the Red Storm. Matt Carasiti (7-5) allowed four runs in 5.1 innings to earn his third-straight win. Chaz Frank had two RBI for North Carolina (46-16), while starter Shane Taylor took the loss after allowing four runs in 2.0 innings of work.
Four St. John's Players Selected In Top Six Rounds
Jeremy Baltz and Matt Wessinger became the highest pair of St. John's players drafted since 1998 as the Red Storm had four players selected in the top six rounds for the first time in program history to highlight day two of the 2012 MLB Draft. Baltz went in the second round (68th overall) to the San Diego Padres, while Wessinger was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round (168th overall). Matt Carasiti was also taken by the Rockies in the sixth round (198th overall) and Kyle Hansen went to the Chicago White Sox in the sixth round (201st overall).
Head Coach: St. John's University
Head coach Ed Blankmeyer is in his 18th season at the helm of the St. John's baseball program. In 17 seasons with the Red Storm, Blankmeyer is 589-350-3 and has led the squad to one NCAA Super Regional appearance, eight NCAA Regional appearances, three BIG EAST Tournament crowns and four BIG EAST regular season titles.
St. John's has flourished in every season under the tutelage of Blankmeyer and his staff. Blankmeyer has guided St. John's to six 40-win seasons, six 30-win seasons and at least 29 wins in 15 of his 17 seasons. He has been named BIG EAST Coach of the Year a conference-record five, ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times, has had 77 All-BIG EAST selections and has seen 57 of his players drafted and/or signed to professional contracts.
St. John's finished 36-22 (18-8) in 2011 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, its 33rd appearance overall and sixth in the last eight seasons, following second place finishes in both the BIG EAST Tournament and BIG EAST regular season. The Red Storm had four All-BIG EAST selections, including a conference-best three first team selections. All-American, Brooks Wallace Award Finalist, first team All-Region honoree and first team All-BIG EAST selection Joe Panik was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (29th overall) of the 2011 MLB Draft, the Red Storm's highest selection since Craig Hansen was picked 26th overall in 2005. Paul Karmas, who became the program's new all-time hit king during the season, and Matt Wessinger were also drafted, while Joe Witkowski signed a free agent contract.
Assistant Coach: St. John's University
Mike Hampton enters his 11th season at St. John's as the program's recruiting coordinator and hitting coach. A former collegiate All-American and fourth-round draft choice, Hampton's keen eye for talent has given St. John's a presence in every level of competitive baseball.
As recruiting coordinator, Hampton has brought in 31 players that have gone on to play professionally. The quartet of Daniel Burawa (Yankees), Ryan Cole (Astros), Greg Hopkins (Brewers) and Bruce Kern (Rockies) were drafted in 2010, becoming the most recent players to join that list. Brian Kemp (Astros) and Tim Morris (Mariners) were selected in the 2009 draft, while Scott Barnes (Giants), George Brown (Cardinals), Justin Gutsie (Rangers), Colin Lynch (Padres) and Jared Yecker (Marlins) were all selected in the 2008 MLB Draft.
A trio of St. John's players--Sam DeLuca (Mets), Brendan Monaghan (Orioles) and Anthony Smith (Diamondbacks)--signed contracts following the 2007 season. Rob Delaney and Will Vogl each signed contracts after the 2006 season and a record seven Red Storm players were signed in 2005, including first round draft pick Craig Hansen.
Assistant Coach: St. John's University
Hired in November, Corey Muscara enters his first season as pitching coach at St. John's. A former collegiate pitcher, Muscara has coached at Southern New Hampshire University and Binghamton as well as in the summer league circuit in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).
Muscara spent the 2012 season as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach at Southern New Hampshire University, his second stint with the program. Bolstered by a pitching staff that led the nation in both ERA (2.41) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.3), the Penmen advanced to the NCAA Division II College World Series and amassed a school-record 43 wins. Two members of the pitching staff earned All-America honors, including first team selection Tim Flight. The ABCA and NCBWA National Pitcher of the Year, Flight also earned Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Year honors and led the nation in strikeouts (140). Muscara had a total of four pitchers earn all-conference accolades and had two pitchers sign professional contracts.
Prior to rejoining the Penmen, Muscara served as the pitching coach at Binghamton University in 2011 and led three pitchers to America East All-Conference honors, including a pair of first team selections.