March 24, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. - Five Red Storm errors led to a total of seven unearned runs as St. John's lost to Pittsburgh, 11-2, to finish the opening weekend of BIG EAST play. Frank Schwindel finished 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead St. John's (7-14, 0-3), while Jamal Clarke was 2-for-4 and Sean O'Hare went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Ryan Horstman (3-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs, one earned, in 4.0 innings f work. Stephen Vranka went 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead Pittsburgh (15-6, 3-0), while Elvin Soto was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Rhys Aldenhoven (4-0) allowed two runs, one earned, in 7.0 innings of work to earn the win.
Horstman worked in and out of trouble in a scoreless first inning before Pitt took advantage of a one-out single by Sam Parente to set the table for a run in the second. Soto followed with a single through the left side before Vranka lined an RBI single into right field to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Pitt then took advantage of three Red Storm errors to break open the game in a seven-run third inning. Horstman struck out the first batter in the inning before back-to-back singles and a hit batsman loaded the bases. Horstman then induced a grounder, but an error on the play allowed one run to score and kept the bases loaded before Soto followed with a two-run single and Vranka added an RBI single. Dylan Wolsonovich then reached on a fielder's choice on a play in which an error prevented any out from being recorded before the third error of the inning allowed two more runs to score. Casey Roche later added a sacrifice fly and Pitt led 8-0.
After Horstman worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning, St. John's got on the board with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut into the deficit. Ty Blankmeyer led off with an infield single before advancing to second on a passed ball and taking third on a flyout. Schwindel followed with an RBI single into left center to make it an 8-1 ballgame.
The Red Storm added a run in the sixth as Schwindel set the table with a one-out double into the left field corner before O'Hare made it 8-2 with an RBI single into left field.
Reliever Joey Graziano, meanwhile, worked scoreless fifth and sixth frames before the Panthers plated three runs in the seventh as Soto drew a leadoff walk before Vranka doubled to right center. After a wild pitch allowed one run to score, Roche added an RBI single before another wild pitch gave Pittsburgh an 11-2 lead.
St. John's stranded a runner on second in the seventh after a two-out double by Pat Talbut and had a leadoff walk erased by a double play in the eighth. Zach Lauricella drew a one-out walk in the ninth and Clarke followed with a single into center, but both runners were stranded as the Red Storm left eight runners on base in the game.
Ryan McCormick worked 2.0 innings of scoreless relief for the Red Storm.
St. John's returns to action on March 26 at 4 p.m. with a midweek game against Stony Brook at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.