March 18, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. - Three Red Storm pitchers combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts as St. John's jumped out to a seven-run lead and won its sixth-straight game with a 7-3 triumph against Fairfield.
Matt Harris finished 3-for-4 with two triples and two RBI to lead St. John's (9-10), while Jarred Mederos went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Bret Dennis was 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Starter Alex Katz had a career-high eight strikeouts in 4.0 scoreless innings of work to earn a no-decision. Shawn Heide (2-0) earned the win in relief and added four strikeouts in 2.1 innings, and Joe Kuzia totaled four strikeouts in 2.2 scoreless frames. Jack Giannini went 2-for-5 with two RBI to pace Fairfield (3-9) and Anthony DiMauro tossed 3.0 scoreless innings of relief.
After Katz struck out two batters as part of a scoreless first inning, St. John's took advantage of three walks to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame. Dan Roland walked to lead things off, but was erased as Zach Lauricella reached on a fielder's choice. After Robert Wayman and Harris drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, Mederos lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to put the Red Storm on the board.
Katz then worked around a leadoff double in the second with two more strikeouts and a groundout.
St. John's plated two more runs in the second despite only connecting for one base hit. After Michael Donadio led off with a walk, Dennis was plunked and Troy Dixon followed with an RBI single into right field. Fairfield went to the bullpen and Roland greeted reliever DiMauro with a sacrifice fly into right as the Red Storm grabbed a 3-0 lead.
Katz, meanwhile, added two more strikeouts in a scoreless third and recorded another two strikeouts in a scoreless fourth frame before giving way to Heide, who promptly tossed a 1-2-3 fifth frame.
The Red Storm took advantage of an error to plate four unearned runs and take a 7-0 lead in the sixth. Dennis led off with a single into center before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. Roland then reached on a throwing error and advanced to second on the play as Dennis scored. After a Wayman single set up runners on the corners with two outs, Harris greeted reliever Ian Tresser with a two-run triple into the right field corner to prompt another pitching change. Mederos capped the inning with an RBI single into right center.
Fairfield, however, rallied for three runs in the seventh to make it a 7-3 ballgame. Sal Ciccone led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Alex Witkus legged out an infield single up the middle, but moved to second on a throwing error as Ciccone scored. Rob LoPinto followed with a sharp single through the left side before Dean Saydik loaded the bases with an infield single. Giannini chased Heide with a two-run single through the left side before Kuzia ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
St. John's continues its 10-game homestand on March 19 with a 3 p.m. game against LIU Brooklyn that will be carried live on ESPN3.