No. 5 St. John's Downs Wagner, 6-2|
March 29, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Fueled by a five-run fifth inning, the No. 5 St. John's Red Storm picked up its seventh-straight win on Wednesday afternoon, topping the Wagner Seahawks by a score of 6-2 at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
Junior shortstop Jesse Berardi provided the game's key hit, driving a three-run home run into the right field bullpen to put the Johnnies (19-2) on top for good in the bottom of the fifth. The Commack, N.Y., native has now registered three home runs and 27 RBIs on the season, good enough for tops on the team and second in the BIG EAST in the latter category.
Jamie Galazin tallied the lone multi-hit effort of the day for the Red Storm, who out-hit its opponent for the 20th time in 21 outings this season. The junior from Langhorne, Pa., came on to pinch run in the fifth before recording singles in each of his two at-bats. Following his 2-for-2 effort, Galazin also became the third member of the Red Storm to boast a batting average better than .400 on the campaign.
Michael Donadio moved into sole possession of 12th place on the St. John's all-time hits list with his 216th career base knock. The senior from Mount Sinai, N.Y., is now seven hits away from tying Sean O'Hare for 11th place and 15 shy of matching former teammate Zach Lauricella for a spot in the top 10.
Despite not registering a hit for just the second time this season, John Valente scored two runs on the afternoon.
The Red Storm used unconventional methods to bring home a run in the top of the first, as the Seahawks recorded three fielding errors before the inning's first out. Valente reached base following a bunt down the left side that forced an errant throw from the third baseman before moving over to second on a failed pick-off attempt. Next up was Donadio, who launched a hard-hit ball at the first baseman, who misplayed the initial hop before sailing the flip to first over the covering pitcher's head and giving the Red Storm runners on the corner with no one out. Berardi then stepped to the plate and hit into a run-scoring double play, putting the Red Storm on top 1-0.
After Wagner (3-13) scored single runs in the third and fifth innings, the Red Storm responded with a huge frame in the home half of the fifth. Following a Robert Boselli III walk to lead off the inning, Galazin came in to pinch run before stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Valente and Donadio then drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases for Berardi. Before the junior shortstop could put a swing on the ball, the Wagner pitcher threw one in the dirt, scoring Galazin from third on the wild pitch. With the score now tied, Berardi turned on a 2-1 pitch and drilled it into the visitor's bullpen in right field, putting the Red Storm ahead by a score of 5-2. The Johnnies were not done yet, as Brocato ripped a double to left before coming around to score on a Gingras two-bagger to left center in the following at-bat to bump the lead to four.
After Matt Messier struck out five and surrendered two runs on just three hits in 4.2 innings of work, the Red Storm bullpen limited the Seahawks to only three hits over the final 4.1 frames. Joe LaSorsa tossed 1.1 scoreless innings to pick up his second win of the season, while David Moyer and Joe Kelly each added another scoreless frame. Aaron Herr and Turner French combined to close out the ninth for the Johnnies.
St. John's returns to action on Friday, playing host to Hofstra for the first game of a split set. First pitch in the series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Jack before the two teams head to Hempstead for game two on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Red Storm and the Pride are then set to close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Queens.