March 15, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's baseball team belted out 32 hits to win both ends of a double-header against Fairfield. Tim Morris and Paul Karmas had four RBI apiece to lead St. John's to a 14-4 victory in game one, while Gino Matias had three RBI and Jared Yecker struck out six in 4.0 scoreless innings to lead the Red Storm to a 10-1 win in the second game. The Red Storm (12-4) will travel to Fairfield, Conn. to meet the Stags (2-11) again on Tuesday, March 18.
After Fairfield took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, St. John's responded in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs as Kemp reached on an error to lead off the inning. After Jeff Grantham was hit by pitch Chris Anninos advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Karmas followed with an RBI groundout and Greg Hopkins plated a run with an RBI single.
Ryan Cole settled down in the second to retire the side in order and St. John's tacked on another run in the bottom of the inning. Matias, Kemp and pinch hitter Morris put together consecutive singles and the Morris single plated Matias to give the Red Storm a 3-1 lead.
Cole retired the side in order again in third inning and once again the Red Storm added to the lead in the bottom of the frame. Hopkins picked up an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error. Gil Zayas plated a Hopkins with a single. Joe Witkowski then singled and Matias followed with a fielder's choice that brought home Zayas.
The Stags rallied in the fourth, however, after a one-out double by Brian Rudolph got the inning started. With two outs, the Stags put together four consecutive singles and plated three runs to make it a 5-4 game. Luis Monell replaced Cole to get the final out of the inning.
St. John's went down in order in the fourth inning, but put together a six run inning in the fifth to grab an 11-4 lead. The inning started with consecutive singles by Hopkins and Zayas and an RBI single by Witkowski. Zayas stole third and trotted home on an errant throw by the catcher and Witkowski came home on a passed ball. With the bases empty and one out, Matias walked to restart things. Kemp singled and Fairfield went to the bullpen to bring in Dan Urbanovich. Morris promptly singled to load the bases and Karmas followed with a three RBI double.
The Red Storm scored three more runs in the sixth after Kevin Watkins got things started with a two-out single. After Matias reached on an error, Kemp singled to load the bases. Morris then doubled to bring in three runs and give St. John's a 14-4 lead.
Monell (1-0) earned the win after striking out four in 1.1 innings and allowing just one hit. Nick Cenatiempo also threw 2.0 scoreless innings and added three strikeouts.
A solid performance on the mound by Yecker highlighted the game two victory. After striking out the side in the first, the righty walked Matt Tiagwad to lead off the second and then retired the next eight batters in a row.
The offense did its part to back Yecker, providing the hurler with two runs in both the third and fourth innings. A two RBI single by Kemp put the Red Storm on top 2-0 in the third, while an RBI single by Morris and an RBI double by Matias in the fourth put St. John's up 4-0.
Justin Gutsie replaced Yecker in the fifth and retired the side in order before St. John's went up 9-0 in the bottom of the frame. Daniel Benedetti started things with a one-out double and Fairfield lifted starter Ryan Calabrese and brought in Kevin Fico. Anninos then greeted Fico with an RBI single. Hopkins singled with two outs before Zayas and Morris each followed with RBI singles. Matias then drove a double to left field to bring in two more runs.
The Stags got on the board for the first time in the sixth. Justin Nusblatt led off with a single and Peter Allen followed with a two-out single. After Tiagwad walked, Nusblatt scored on an over throw to third for a pick off attempt.
Gutsie (3-1) allowed one unearned run and struck out four in his 2.0 innings of work. Rich Armento relieved Gutsie and tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings and allowed just one hit.
Colin Lynch worked a scoreless ninth to finish the game and the sweep.
Notes: Kemp now has a 13 game hitting streak ... Matias extended his hitting streak to six games ... the 18 hits in game one was a season best ... the Red Storm has 10+ hits in four straight games.