March 25, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - The No. 25 St. John's baseball team won its tenth straight game with a 10-5 victory over the Columbia Lions. Carlos Del Rosario had three RBI and Greg Hopkins belted a two-run home run to lead St. John's (17-4). Columbia falls to 4-14 on the year.
Entering the game with a 10-0 record when scoring first, the Red Storm did exactly that with a run in the first inning. Brian Kemp walked to lead off the game and reached third on a single by Carlos Del Rosario. Del Rosario was thrown out trying to stretch his hit for a double, but Chris Anninos followed with an RBI single to put St. John's up 1-0.
Making his first career start, St. John's pitcher Rich Armento worked a pair of scoreless innings before the Lions broke through for three runs in the third. Nick Cox led off with a single and Jason Banos followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1. Henry Perkins then tripled to plate Banos and later came around to score on a wild pitch as Columbia took a 3-1 lead. After allowing a lead off single and inducing a fly out in the fourth, Armento was chased and Ryan Cole entered for the Red Storm. Cole allowed a double and a run came around to score as Columbia went up 4-1.
The Red Storm would respond in its half of the fourth, however, with four runs to retake the lead. After Greg Hopkins reached on an error, he was erased on a Gil Zayas fielder's choice. Tim Morris then tripled to plate Zayas and Joe Witkowski followed with an RBI single. After Gino Matias singled to put two runners on base, Del Rosario connected for a two-out two RBI double.
Columbia came right back though to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth. Perkins led off with a single and stole second. Mike Roberts then picked up an RBI single to plate Perkins. Roberts moved to second on a wild pitch and Mike Malfettone followed with a single to shallow right field. As Roberts rounded third, right fielder Anninos came up throwing and gunned down Roberts at the plate to keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the fifth, St. John's took the lead for good. With one out, Hopkins singled to get things started. With two outs, Morris was hit by a pitch and Witkowski walked to loade the bases. Matias then singled to right field to plate Hopkins, but Morris was thrown out at home by Malfettone for the third out.
St. John's would score again in the sixth to go up 7-5. Kemp was hit by a pitch to open the frame and, after stealing his twelfth base of the season, moved to third on a ground out. After another ground out, Karmas singled up the middle to bring in Kemp.
Both teams were retired in order in the seventh and the Lions managed just a walk in the eighth. The Red Storm, however, opened the game up in the bottom of the eighth with three more runs to go up 10-5. Kemp led off with his team-best third triple and scored on a Del Rosario sacrifice fly. After an Anninos double, Hopkins followed with a long home run over the left field wall.
The Red Storm returns to BIG EAST action with a three-game set at home against Seton Hall beginning on Friday, March 25.