Feb. 15, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. -
The St. John's offense managed just three hits, went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring and left six runners on base in a 6-0 loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Opening Day, marking the first time the squad has been shutout in a season-opener since 1995. Zach Lauricella reached base three times and finished 1-for-2 with a double, while Danny Bethea was 1-for-3 with a double to pace St. John's (0-1). Sean Hagan (0-1) had four strikeouts and retired 11-straight batters at one point, but allowed four runs in 5.2 innings to take the loss. Ricky Knapp (1-0) allowed just two hits in 6.0 scoreless innings to earn the win for FGCU (1-0), while Brooks Beisner finished 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI to lead the Eagles.
FGCU threatened in the top of the first inning as Tyler Selesky drew a leadoff walk and Mike Reeves followed with a single, but Hagan followed with a strikeout and a pair of flyouts to escape the jam and keep the Eagles off the board.
Following a 1-2-3 frame for Hagan in the second, Frank Schwindel reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the inning. Schwindel was erased on a double play before Lauricella roped a ground rule double into center field, but was stranded.
Another 1-2-3 inning in the third gave Hagan nine-straight batters retired, but FGCU got on the board with a two-out rally in the fourth. After Hagan opened the inning with back-to-back strikeouts to retire 11-straight batters, Brandon Bednar doubled into centerfield. Zack Tillery followed with an RBI single through the right side before Beisner lifted a two-run home run to left field to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
A leadoff walk to Lauricella and a one-out single by Jimmy Brennan gave St. John's runners on first and second in the fifth frame, but Knapp induced an inning-ending double play.
The Eagles plated three more runs in the sixth inning. After leading off with a double, Sean Dwyer advanced to third on a flyout to center and scored on a Bednar sacrifice fly. Hagan was then lifted and Tillery greeted reliever Joey Graziano
with an infield single before Beisner made it 6-0 with his second two-run blast of the game.
FGCU went to the bullpen in the seventh and St. John's threatened, but stranded runners on second and third. Following a Bethea ground rule double, Lauricella was plunked and pinch hitter Jamal Clarke advanced the runners to second and third with a groundout. Reliever Gabe Rivera, however, induced an inning-ending lineout.
After working a scoreless seventh, Graziano added a scoreless eighth frame and allowed two runs in 2.1 innings of work in his collegiate debut.
Freshman Thomas Hackimer made his collegiate debut in the ninth and got two outs before Anthony Cervone retired one batter to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
FGCU reliever Danny Patrick worked a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game and preserve the shutout.
St. John's returns to action on Feb. 16 with an 11 a.m. game against Mercer.