March 11, 2009
OREM, Utah - The St. John's baseball team ended its five-game trip to Utah by sweeping a double-header against Utah Valley. After taking game one 14-4, the Red Storm added a 10-0 victory in the nightcap. Greg Hopkins combined to go 3-for-8 with six RBI, while Paul Karmas went 4-for-10 with five RBI to lead St. John's (4-6). Freshmen Brendan Lobban (1-1) and Eddie Medina (1-1) each started and earned their first collegiate victories. Kirk Doxey had a pinch-hit two-run home run for Utah Valley (5-7).
St. John's took a 1-0 lead in game one after just two batters as Brian Kemp tripled to lead off the game and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Ferrara. Jimmy Parque and Tim Morris followed with singles before Hopkins turned on the first pitch of his at-bat and blasted a two-out, three-run home run over the fence in left to give the Red Storm a 4-0 lead. St. John's would collectively hit for the cycle in the first as Joe Panik followed with a two-out double.
After Lobban worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, snow began to accumulate on the field and the game was suspended after a 30-minute delay.
When play resumed in the top of the second, St. John's picked up where it left off. After a lead off single by Gino Matias, Kemp reached on a bunt single just past the pitcher. Ferrara reached on an error to load the bases before a one-out single by Karmas plated two runs. Morris followed with an RBI double that put St. John's up 7-0. Following a wild pitch that allowed Karmas to score from third, Hopkins walked and UVU went to the bullpen for righty Brian Whatcott. A passed ball brought in Morris before Panik walked and Danny Benedetti put St. John's up 10-0 with an RBI fielder's choice.
After Ferrara tripled with one out in the third, Parque walked and Karmas reached on an error that allowed Ferrara to trot home. Morris then reached on an error to load the bases and a sacrifice fly by Hopkins gave St. John's a 12-0 lead. Panik followed with a two-RBI triple to push the lead to 14-0.
Lobban would retire the first seven batters of the game before a one-out single by Riley White in the third. The Wolverines would get on the board, however, in the fourth. Cole Anderson led off with a single and came around to score on a Ryan Jones RBI double. Jace Brinkerhoff then reached on an error that allowed a run to score and make it a 14-2 game.
After back-to-back UVU singles in the fifth, Lobban got out of the inning thanks to a triple play. Anderson connected for a hard line drive to the right side of second base. St. John's second baseman Matias caught it, quickly stepped on second and threw down to first to catch both runners trying to retreat.
UVU would make it 14-4 with two runs in the eighth off of Red Storm reliever Steve Forster. After Brinkerhoff doubled with one out, pinch hitter Kirk Doxey belted a two-run home run to center field.
Lobban scattered six hits in 6.0 innings of work and allowed two runs, one earned.
In game two the Wolverines had a pair of singles in the bottom of the first, but starter Medina picked off Anderson and Jones was caught trying to steal second.
St. John's would then take a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Karmas singled to open the frame and moved to second on a groundout. Matias then doubled to left center field to chase home Karmas and give St. John's the early lead.
Freshman Matt Wessinger gave the Red Storm a 2-0 lead in the third when he drilled an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence for his first career home run. With one out, Ferrara walked and stole second base before Karmas sent a double down the right field line to give St. John's a 3-0 lead. A Morris single up the middle then brought home Karmas and St. John's led 4-0.
The Red Storm added two runs in the fourth inning. After a groundout, Joe Witkowski singled, but reached second on a throwing error. Wessinger then doubled down the left field line to plate Witkowski and later came around to score on a dropped fly ball to put the Red Storm up 6-0.
The score remained the same until the seventh when Hopkins singled into center field to plate Karmas and give St. John's a 7-0 lead.
Parque opened a three-run ninth with a lead off double and then scored on an RBI double by Karmas. Hopkins added an RBI single before Witkowski plated the Red Storm's tenth run with an RBI double.
Medina threw 7.0 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and adding one strikeout. Rich Armento closed out game two adding three strikeouts in 2.0 shutout innings.
St. John's opens play at home on Friday, March 13 with a 3 p.m., game against Albany.