Feb. 16, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. - St. John's surrendered four home runs to a Mercer squad that ranked tied for fifth in the nation in homers last season and was defeated 13-5 in the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
Frank Schwindel went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, while Sean O'Hare reached base four times and finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles to pace St. John's (0-2). Starter Ryan Horstman (0-1) had five strikeouts and allowed four runs in 2.2 innings to take the loss in his collegiate debut. Robert Case finished 2-for-2 after entering as a pinch hitter and Jimmy Brennan went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI.
Starter Brandon Barker (1-0) had six strikeouts in 5.0 innings of one-run ball to earn the win for Mercer (2-0).
St. John's put together a two-out rally and took advantage of an error to plate a run in the top of the second inning. After back-to-back two-out singles by Danny Bethea and Bret Dennis, Brennan walked to load the bases. A Jamal Clarke pop up was then dropped and the Red Storm went up 1-0.
Mercer then chased Horstman as part of a four-run third inning. After Michael Massi leveled the score with a solo homer, Evan Boyd made it a 4-1 game with a three-run home run. St. John's went to the bullpen with two outs and freshman Mike Sheppard III ended the inning.
The Bears benefited from two errors and plated seven runs, one earned, to take an 11-1 lead in the fourth. A leadoff walk was followed by an error before Chesny Young lined a two-run single into right center. Horstman then walked Nick Backlund and a sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third before an error allowed a run to score and left the Bears with runners on the corners. Travis Benn followed with a two-run double before a two-run home run by Derrick Workman chased Sheppard and reliever Jerome Werniuk ended the inning with a groundout.
Werniuk worked a scoreless fifth and was lifted in favor of Antony Rosati with one out in the sixth. Nate Moorehouse greeted Rosati with a leadoff home run in the seventh, however, before David Reid-Foley doubled and scored on the second of two-straight groundouts to make it a 13-1 game.
The first four batters reached base for the Red Storm as part of a three-run eighth inning. After O'Hare led off with a double, Case lined a pinch hit single into right center and Schwindel followed with a two-run double. Joe Burns then walked before Brennan lined a one-out RBI single up the middle.
Schwindel added an RBI double in the ninth for the final 13-5 margin.
St. John's concludes play in the Snowbird Baseball Classic with a doubleheader on Feb. 17. St. John's will take on Ohio State at 10 a.m. before a 1 p.m. game against Florida Gulf Coast.