CLEARWATER, Fla. – After three days of play at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., only four teams remain in the 2011 BIG EAST Baseball Championship. Semifinal play begins on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET as No. 2 seed St. John’s takes on No. 6 seed Louisville, followed by No. 1 seed Connecticut against No. 5 seed Seton Hall at 1 p.m. All of the semifinal action will be available live for free on BIGEAST.tv. The semifinal winners will face off in the title game on Sunday at Noon on ESPNU.
Louisville needs two wins against St. John’s to advance the title game for fourth time since joining the conference in 2006. If Louisville wins the first game, the teams would play again at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Cardinals defeated No. 3 seed Pittsburgh 12-2 in an elimination game on Friday. Travis Tingle got the win on the mound, while the top of the Louisville lineup provided plenty of offense. The one-through-four hitters in the Cardinal lineup combined to go 8-for-13 with seven runs scored and six RBI. Second baseman Ryan Wright set the BIG EAST Championship career RBI mark in the contest by driving in three runs to give him 21 for his career in the tournament.
St. John’s finds itself in the semifinal round for the second-straight year, advancing through the winners’ bracket with wins over Cincinnati (8-3) and Pittsburgh (6-4). The Red Storm are looking for back-to-back BIG EAST Championship titles. The program has the most titles of any team in BIG EAST history with six. St. John’s swept the Cardinals in a three-game series in Queens, N.Y., in the regular season.
The second semifinal contest has the No. 1 seed Connecticut searched for two wins against No. 5 seed Seton Hall to advance to the title game. If Connecticut wins the first game, the teams will meet against at either 6:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. on Saturday. The Huskies advanced through the losers’ bracket after beating Notre Dame 9-3 on Friday. Connecticut dropped a 4-3, 12-inning decision to SHU on Thursday night. The Huskies are looking to make their third-straight trip to the title game.
Seton Hall advanced to its first semifinal since 2001 with wins over West Virginia (10-4) and Connecticut (4-3). Dale Anderson drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th inning to give Seton Hall the win in the first game between the teams in the Championship.