Johnnies get to Regional Championship with 5-4 walk-off win over UNC

The biggest home run in recent memory for the St. John's Red Storm (39-21) baseball team happened in the bottom of the ninth in the winners bracket game of the Chapel Hill Regional against North Carolina (45-15). Danny Bethea jacked a one out, three run home run over the left field wall off of the dominate Tar Heel closer, Michael Morin. The Red Storm now move on to the Regional Championship game on Sunday night.

The Storm, down 4-2, got the last-inning rally started with a Jeremy Baltz lead-off double to deep right. Sean O'Hare followed with a single, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After a Zach Lauricella strike out on a nasty breaking pitch, it was Bethea's turn at the plate.

Bethea took an 0-1 offering from Morin and jacked it over the wall and jumped into the arms of his awaiting teammates at home plate. The amazing win, which stands as one of the more unbelievable wins in recent St. John's history, puts them one win away from their first Super Regional appearance since 1980.

Sean Hagan started the game for the Red Storm and pitched well enough to keep his team in the game. Hagan went 8.1 innings and gave up eight hits and four runs while striking out three. Hagan had streaks of setting down Tar Heels and was in control with a 2-1 lead until Shell McCain home run in the 6th that put the Tar Heels up 3-2.

The Heels added an insurance run in the ninth but that was for naught.

Next up for the Johnnies will be the winner of Sunday's 1 pm elimination game between North Carolina and East Carolina. The winner of that game will play again later in the day against the Johnnies at 6pm. St. John's would advance with a win, but if they lose they will play again against the same team on Monday in a winner-take-all match up.

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