March 10, 2006
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The St. John's baseball team fell at the College of Charleston, 6-2 on Friday, in the first of a three-game weekend series at Patriots Point Field. Both teams were held scoreless after the fourth inning, but six early runs by the Cougars proved too much for St. John's to overcome, as the Red Storm fell to 4-5 on the season.
The College of Charleston, which came into the weekend listed as No. 10 in the most recent RPI rankings by WarrenNolan.com, improved to 11-3 for the year.
Sophomore Nick Luisi kept St. John's in the game throughout some early rallies and finished his 6.0-inning appearance by retiring eight out of the last 10 batters he faced. Freshman Justin Gutsie and sophomore James Lally finished the game with 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Red Storm within striking distance.
Bryan Dirr had a team-high two hits, his second consecutive game with at least two hits, and scored a run, while both Will Vogl and Chris Joachim extended season-opening hit streaks to nine games. Sam DeLuca hit an RBI single and walked once in four plate appearances, and Joachim added his seventh RBI of the season - a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning.
St. John's jumped out to a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat behind the sacrifice fly by Joachim. Dirr and DeLuca hit back-to-back singles, and Eddie Schultz was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Dirr came around to score on Joachim's line drive to deep right field to give the Red Storm an early lead.
The Cougars quickly responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Phillip Coker doubled to start the inning and came around to score on an error, and Chris Campbell plated Joey Friddle with a sacrifice fly to give College of Charleston the lead. Jess Easterling drove in catcher Alex Garabedian with a line drive double down the left field line to cap the Cougars scoring.
The Red Storm came back with a run of its own in the top of the third inning, cutting Charleston's lead to 3-2. Will Vogl hit a leadoff double into right field and was moved along to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Dirr. DeLuca brought Vogl home with a sacrifice fly for his sixth RBI of the season.
The Cougars upped their lead to 6-2 with runs in the third and fourth innings, two of which were unearned. Ben Lasater led off the fourth inning with a solo home run, as the Cougars began the inning with three straight hits. A bunt single by Larry Cobb plated the second run of the inning, as a throwing error brought designated hitter Jedd Cordisco around to score from second base for a 6-2 College of Charleston lead.
Both teams' starters settled down in the middle innings and gave way to relief pitchers that did not allow a run. Cougar starter Graham Godfrey allowed five hits, four walks and two runs, while striking out six in 6.2 innings, and reliever Josh McLaughlin closed the door with 2.1 shutout innings. In 15.1 innings this season, McLaughlin has yet to allow an earned run.
The series continues on Saturday at 1 p.m., with St. John's junior righthander Rob Delaney (0-1, 9.00 ERA) to face College of Charleston junior righthander Nick Chigges (2-1, 1.54) in the probable pitching matchup. The three-game set concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m.