March 19, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. - Starter Chris Kalica worked 6.0 innings of one-run ball and Tyler Sanchez finished 3-for-4 with three RBI as St. John's opened up a 7-0 lead after just three innings and recorded its seventh-straight win with an 8-5 victory against LIU Brooklyn. Alex Caruso went 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored to help lead St. John's (10-10), while Jarred Mederos went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Michael Donadio was 2-for-3 with two walks. Kalica (3-1) allowed five hits, while walking none and striking out five in the win. Peter Leonello went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for LIU Brooklyn (6-8-1), while Nick Freijomil (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs, four earned, in 5.1 innings of work.
LIU Brooklyn looked to take advantage of a leadoff single in the first, but Kalica escaped with a strike-`em-out-throw-`em-out double play and a groundout.
St. John's followed with a two runs in the bottom of the frame after Caruso set the table with a leadoff triple. Bret Dennis was then plunked before Robert Wayman reached on an error as Caruso scored. After Matt Harris advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, Dennis scored on a wild pitch to give the Red Storm a 2-0 lead.
The Red Storm took advantage of two errors in the second to add three unearned runs. Robbie Knightes reached on an error to lead off the inning and took second on a groundout before scoring on a Sanchez RBI double into the gap in left center. Caruso followed with an infield single before Dennis reached on a fielder's choice as Sanchez was retired after a brief rundown between third base and home. A passed ball allowed Caruso to score and another error brought home Dennis and gave St. John's a 5-0 advantage.
St. John's posted a third-straight multi-run inning with a two-run third. Robbie Knightes singled up the middle with one out before Zach Lauricella was plunked and a wild pitch left the Red Storm with runners on second and third. Sanchez followed with a two-run single to make it a 7-0 ballgame.
Kalica then struck out the side in the fourth and added a 1-2-3 fifth to keep the Blackbirds scoreless through five. LIU, however, took advantage of a leadoff triple in the sixth to make it a 7-1 score with a John Ziznewski sacrifice fly into center.
The Red Storm got the run right back in the bottom of the frame as Wayman led off with a single and stole second before advancing to third on a groundout. Following a walk to Donadio, Mederos put St. John's up by an 8-1 margin with an RBI bunt single.
Matt Clancy worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning and retired the first two batters in the eighth before a two-out single sent St. John's to the bullpen for Joey Christopher, who retired the first batter he faced to end the inning.
LIU Brooklyn, however, made things interesting with a four-run ninth frame. An error started things for the Blackbirds and a groundball single through the right side chased Christopher from the ballgame. Bobby Webb greeted reliever Thomas Hackimer with an RBI single inside the right field line and Kevin Needham followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. After a Melvin Rios single through the right side loaded the bases, Hackimer used a strikeout to get the first out of the inning. A walk to Kyle DeMarco, however, forced in one run before another walk to Leonello pulled the Blackbirds to within 8-5 and sent St. John's back to the bullpen. Matt Hennie then came on and promptly induced a 6-3 double play to end the game and record the save.
St. John's continues its 10-game homestand and opens a three-game series against James Madison on March 21 with a 3 p.m. game that will be carried live on ESPN3.