Five-Run Third Leads St. John’s Past CSU Bakersfield, 5-4|
Feb. 27, 2016
BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. - St. John’s sent 10-men to the plate as part of a five-run third and held on to defeat CSU Bakersfield, 5-4. Josh Shaw finished 1-for-5 with two RBI to lead St. John’s (2-2), while Michael Donadio and Aidan McDermott added an RBI apiece. Joe Napolitano (1-0) tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless relief for the victory, while Thomas Hackimer worked 2.0 scoreless frames for the save. Ryan Grotjohn went 2-for-2 with an RBI for CSU Bakersfield (2-2) and Chance Gusbeth was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Steven Gee (1-1) took the loss after allowing five runs in 5.1 innings of work.
After starter Joey Christopher (3.2 IP, 4R, 1ER) worked a pair of 1-2-3 innings, St. John’s loaded the bases with no outs as part of a five-run third frame. Jesse Berardi led off with a single up the middle before Ty Blankmeyer was plunked and Alex Caruso loaded the bases with a bunt single. Donadio put the Red Storm on the board with an RBI single and Shaw followed with a two-run single. McDermott later added an RBI single before a wild pitch allowed Shaw to score and gave the Red Storm a 5-0 lead.
CSU Bakersfield, however, took advantage of an error and chased Christopher as part of a four-run fourth frame. Three-consecutive one-out walks loaded the bases before Gusbeth reached on a dropped fly ball as two runs scored. A Joey Sanchez sacrifice fly and a Grotjohn RBI single made it 5-4 and sent St. John’s to the bullpen for Napolitano, who ended the inning with a strikeout.
St. John’s chased Gee in the sixth, but stranded a pair of runners. After drawing a leadoff walk, Anthony Brocato moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a passed ball. A walk to Blankmeyer ended the day for Gee, but Adam Coats induced a pair of groundouts to end the inning.
Napolitano retired his first five batters before allowing back-to-back one-out singles in the sixth. The righty, however, got out of the inning with a strike-‘em-out-throw-‘em-out double play.
CSU Bakersfield put the tying run on in the seventh as Turner French issued a leadoff walk to Grotjohn. Kevin Torres entered and struck out his first batter before a balk moved Grotjohn to second. A flyout and a strikeout ended the frame as the Red Storm maintained a one-run lead.
St. John’s loaded the bases in the eighth, but the Roadrunners escaped the jam without allowing a run. Brocato started things with a leadoff walk before Blankmeyer reached on a one-out error and CSUB went to the bullpen. Matthew Franco came on and walked Caruso to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the frame.
Hackimer tossed a scoreless eighth inning and worked around a pair of one-out walks in the ninth with a game-ending double play.
St. John’s continues its three-game series against CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 27 with a 3 p.m. (ET) game.