March 15, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's baseball team won its fifth-straight game, pounding out 21 hits in a 14-7 win against Albany. Greg Hopkins and Joe Panik each had four hits to lead St. John's (7-6). Brian Kemp added three RBI, while Hopkins, Scott Ferrara and Gino Matias added two RBI each. Brendan Lobban (2-1) tallied five strikeouts and allowed just three runs in 6.0 innings to earn the win. Gary Pitcheralle had a solo home run for Albany (2-10).
The Great Danes scored first, plating one a run in the second. With one out in the second Mike Tirri singled and moved to third on an Adam Cutspec double. Joe Ilacqua then lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to put Albany on the board.
St. John's answered right back with four runs in the bottom of the second. After a lead off double by Tim Morris, Hopkins grounded an RBI single up the middle. Panik pushed Hopkins up with a sacrifice bunt and Joe Witkowski walked before Matias singled to plate Hopkins. An errant throw by the left fielder, however, also allowed Witkowski to score and Matias to reach third. An RBI groundout by Kemp put St. John's up 4-1.
The Red Storm took a 7-1 lead with three runs in the fourth. After back-to-back singles by Panik and Witkowski gave St. John's runners on the corners, Matias reached on an RBI bunt single. After a Kemp single, Ferrara followed with an RBI single and Paul Karmas added an RBI on a fielder's choice.
Hopkins and Panik led off the fifth with consecutive singles. Hopkins then tagged up to reach third on a fly out before scoring on a wild pitch. Matt Wessinger entered the game as a pinch hitter and promptly singled to left field to give St. John's runners on the corners. After a pitching change, Kemp and Ferrara each plated runs as the Red Storm took a 10-1 lead through five innings.
After retiring eight-straight batters, Lobban allowed a pair of runs in the sixth. Pitcheralle led off the frame with a solo home run. Following singles by Dave West and Ryan Gugel, a wild pitch moved both runners up and Kyle Crean plated a run with a sacrifice fly.
Morris singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but the Albany center fielder misplayed the ball and Morris reached second. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Morris scored on an RBI single by Hopkins.
Albany added a pair of runs in the eighth on a Brendan Rowland RBI groundout and an RBI double by Crean.
After Panik singled to lead off the eighth, Josh Tutwiler and Wessinger each walked to load the bases with no outs. Kemp brought in one run with a sacrifice fly and Del Rosario brought in another run by drawing a walk with the bases loaded and St. John's led 14-5.
St. John's next takes on Fairfield with a 3 p.m. game on March 17 at Jack Kaiser Stadium.