McDermott Totals Five RBI As St. John’s Rolls Past Western Carolina, 14-3

Robbie Knightes went 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Red Storm.
Feb. 21, 2016

Box Score

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Redshirt freshman Aidan McDermott launched his first-career home run and totaled a career-high five RBI as St. John’s surged past Western Carolina, 14-3.

McDermott finished 2-for-6 with one run, while fellow freshman Josh Shaw went 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored to lead St. John’s (1-2). John Valente and Robbie Knightes added three RBI apiece to help pace the offensive attack. Starter Ryan McAuliffe racked up eight strikeouts in 4.2 innings of one-run ball for a no-decision in his Division I debut. Thomas Hackimer (1-0), who had two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth, was credited with the win.

Garrett Brown went 1-for-3 with two runs scored for Western Carolina (0-3), while Matt Smith finished 1-for-2 with one RBI. Starter Taylor Durand (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, in 3.1 innings of work.

McAuliffe struck out the side in the top of the first, but a hit batsman to open the frame helped Western Carolina grab a 1-0 lead. Brown was plunked to start things and stole second before McAuliffe responded with back-to-back strikeouts. Smith, however, followed with an RBI single before a strikeout ended the inning.

St. John’s answered immediately with two runs in the bottom of the first. Alex Caruso and Shaw set the table with back-to-back one-out singles before a groundout moved the runners to second and third. McDermott then gave the Red Storm a 2-1 lead with a two-out, two-run single.

 

 

The Red Storm added a run in the second after loading the bases with no outs. Michael Donadio walked to lead off the inning before Troy Dixon singled and Ty Blankmeyer reached on an error to quickly load the bases. Durand then got a strikeout before Valente made it 3-1 with an RBI fielder’s choice. Caruso walked to reload the bases, but Durand ended the inning with a strikeout to limit the damage.

McAuliffe escaped a jam in the third inning to maintain the two-run advantage. After a leadoff single and a walk, a balk gave the Catamounts runners on second and third with just one out. McAuliffe, however, stranded both runners with back-to-back strikeouts.

After St. John’s left the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, McAuliffe stranded a runner on third in the fourth with an inning-ending strikeout.

St. John’s chased Durand and grabbed a 7-1 advantage with a four-run fourth frame that included a three-run blast from McDermott. A one-out walk to Caruso sent Western Carolina to the bullpen for Colton Davis, who promptly walked Shaw. After Knightes added an RBI double, McDermott launched a three-run home run to left center.

McAuliffe was lifted following a two-out double in the fifth. Tyler Bauman entered and walked his first batter before ending the inning with a fielder’s choice.

St. John’s tacked on four more runs in the fifth. Ty Blankmeyer led off with a bunt single and stole second before taking third on a one-out passed ball. After a Valente RBI single, Caruso reached on a bunt single and a wild pitch set up runners on second and third. Shaw followed with a two-run single before Knightes added an RBI single for an 11-1 advantage.

A leadoff triple by Dixon in the sixth set up a Blankmeyer sacrifice fly as St. John’s extended its lead to 12-1.

Western Carolina pulled to within 12-3 with a pair of runs in the seventh.

St. John’s then loaded the bases with one out as part of a two-run eighth. After pinch-hitter Mark Venice worked a leadoff walk, Jesse Berardi singled with one out before pinch-hitter Jamie Galazin was plunked to load the bases. Caruso then worked a walk to force in a run before Shaw gave the Red Storm a 14-3 lead with a sacrifice fly.

Joe Napolitano had one strikeout in a 1-2-3 eighth before Hackimer closed out the game.

St. John’s returns to action on Feb. 24 with a 3 p.m. midweek game at NC State.

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