Feb. 19, 2010
NEW ORLEANS, La. -
Senior Bruce Kern tossed 5.0 innings of perfect baseball, while Scott Ferrara, Greg Hopkins and Joe Panik had two RBI apiece to lead the St. John's baseball team to a 9-3 win against the University of New Orleans. Kern (1-0) faced the minimum 15 batters and had eight strikeouts for St. John's (1-0). Ferrara and Panik each had a two-run home run for the Red Storm, while Jimmy Parque and Jeremy Baltz added three hits and an RBI apiece. Starting pitcher Joe Zimmermann (0-1) allowed four runs, two earned, in 5.0 innings for New Orleans (0-1).
With one out in the second, Panik collected the Red Storm's first hit of 2010 when he lined a stand-up double into left center field. Baltz then stepped to the plate for his first-career at-bat and promptly singled up the middle to plate Panik and give St. John's a 1-0 lead
Kern, meanwhile, had three strikeouts in the first inning and added two more in the second frame.
St. John's took a 2-0 lead in the third. Freshman Sean O'Hare doubled into left center field to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a Ferrara groundout. Parque then grounded an RBI single through the left side that brought home O'Hare.
In the third inning, Kern set down one more Privateer by way of the K to give the righty six strikeouts through three innings of work.
The Red Storm took a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning after scoring a pair of two-out runs. After reaching on a fielding error, Ferrara took off from first as Parque lined a single through the right side. Ferrara reached third easily and came home as the throw from right field went into the stands. Parque, who advanced to second on the throwing error, then came around to score on a Hopkins RBI single.
Kern added a strikeout in the fourth and one more in the fifth.
Brendan Lobban entered the game in the bottom of the sixth and the Privateers scored a pair of runs to cut the St. John's lead to 4-2. Kevin Berry greeted Lobban with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Tyrone Wethers then plated a run to put UNO on the board with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Eden followed with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a Jay Morris RBI single.
Joe Witkowski led off a two-run seventh inning for the Red Storm with a double to right center. Ferrara then launched a two-run home run to left field to give St. John's a 6-2 lead.
Lobban was lifted in favor of Stephen Rivera after issuing a lead off walk in the seventh. Rivera then proceeded to strike out the side.
UNO added a run in the bottom of the eighth, however. After Rivera issued back-to-back walks with one out, Nick Schwaner looped an RBI single into center field. Rivera, however, would strike out Nolan Church and induce a fly out to preserve the 6-3 lead.
St. John's added three runs in the ninth to take a 9-3 lead. After drawing a lead off walk, Ferrara stole second base and scored on a Hopkins RBI single. Panik then launched a two-run home run over the fence in right field.
Junior Daniel Burawa had a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.
St. John's returns to action against the Privateers at 1 p.m. on Feb. 20.
Notes: St. John's won its third-straight season-opener ... on opening day in 2009, Kern had seven strikeouts in 4.0 scoreless innings of relief ... freshmen Baltz and O'Hare combined to go 5-for-8 with an RBI ... the home run for Ferrara was the second of his career and first since April 20, 2008 at Pittsburgh ... Red Storm pitching combined for 14 strikeouts.