Losing Ground

West Virginia continued to lose ground in its race to make the Big East Tournament after dropping its third consecutive game to St. John's on Sunday.

St. John's limited big-hitting WVU to just two runs while sweeping the series with a 7-2 win. The Red Storm moved into first place in the Big East at 14-4 with the victory.

The loss wasn't the only bad news for WVU, as Justin Jenkins' school and league record 38-game hitting streak came to an end.

The contest followed a similar pattern to the other two games of the series, as the Johnnies jumped out to an early lead. Ryan Mahoney walked to lead off the third, then came around to score on singles by Brian Kemp and Chris Joachim. West Virginia momentarily tied the score one inning later when Jordon Yost blasted a leadoff home run, but it didn't take the Red Storm long to respond.

In the top of the fifth, Mahoney doubled and scored on a groundout, and Jeff Grantham, who had reached on a bunt single, scored on a Sam Deluca hit to put St. John's in front by 3-1.

West Virginia put together a serious threat in the bottom of the inning, as Tyler Kuhn singled, Jenkins walked, and Austin Markel singled to score Kuhn. Yost walked to load the bases with one out, but Mike Schmidt struck out and Trent Ridgley grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.

Leaving the bases loaded seemed to knock the wind out of the sails of the Mountaineers, who managed just two singles over the final four innings. Meanwhile, St. John's continued to apply offensive pressure.

In the seventh, the Red Storm manufactured a run when Chris Anninos singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, scrambled to third on a bunt single then scored on a Kemp single. One inning later, St. John's closed the scoring with three more runs to account for the final 7-2 margin.

Red Storm reliever Jared Yecker got the win after coming on for starter George Brown in the bottom of the fifth. Yecker tossed 4 2/3 innings of nearly spotless ball, yielding just two hits and one walk while striking out three.

Mountaineer starter Kenny Durst took the loss, as he gave up nine hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Durst allowed only one extra base hit and struck out ten, but St. John's took advantage of its scoring chances to take home the win.

WVU fell to ninth in the league, 1/2 game behind Villanova in eighth.

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