No. 5 St. John's Uses Nine-Run Sixth to Move Past Hofstra, 14-3|
April 2, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Trailing 3-2 after five and a half innings, the No. 5 St. John's Red Storm exploded for nine runs in the home half of the sixth en route to scoring the final 12 runs of the game, downing Hofstra 14-3 at Jack Kaiser Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Anthony Brocato led the way for the Red Storm (21-2), going 3-for-4 with three RBIs on the day. The junior right fielder was one of five Johnnies to drive in multiple runs against the Pride (7-18), as Michael Donadio, Gui Gingras, Mike Antico and Jamie Galazin all brought home two runs apiece.
Robbie Knightes went 3-for-4 with an RBI, bringing his batting average to .300 on the season. Jesse Berardi also recorded three hits for the Johnnies, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances by going 3-for-3 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch and two runs scored. After going 10-for-15 in his last four games, Berardi has raised his average to .420 on the season, a jump of 50 points in one week.
Troy Dixon extended his hitting streak to 12 games and raised his average to .358 with a 2-for-3 outing against the Pride.
Michael LoPresti picked up his team-leading fifth win of the year for the Red Storm, allowing just one hit and two walks in four innings of scoreless relief. Jeff Belge threw the first five frames for the Johnnies, surrendering only one earned run and striking out four.
The Red Storm got on the board early, as Gingras ripped an RBI single to right in the bottom of the first, scoring Donadio, who walked before advancing from first to third on a Berardi single through the right side.
After a pair of scoreless frames, the Johnnies added another run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 2-0, as Dixon pulled a double down the line in right before coming in to score on a Brocato single up the middle in the next at-bat.
Following a three-run top of the fifth from the Pride to take a 3-2 lead, St. John's loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. After Galazin led off the inning with a deep fly out to left, Valente poked a single to right before Donadio and Berardi drew walks to load the bases for Gingras. The redshirt senior hit a rocket back to the mound that was snagged by the pitcher for the inning's second out before Shaw lined out to the second baseman to end the threat.
Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Red Storm exploded for its most electric half inning of the season, plating nine runs in the frame. Beginning with Dixon, the first six batters of the inning singled, as Brocato, Knightes, Galazin, Valente and Donadio followed suit with base knocks. Four runs came in to score during that sequence, as Galazin and Donadio brought home two apiece. After Berardi made it seven-straight to reach base when he was hit by a pitch, Gingras recorded the inning's first out, lifting a sac fly to center that scored Valente. With five runs in already, the Red Storm was far from done. Shaw brought home a run with a single to center, leaving Johnnies on first and second for Brocato. The junior from Helmetta, N.J., drove a ball deep to right field that deflected off the glove of a ranging Steven Foster, bringing home both runners with his first triple of the season. The Red Storm needed only one more pitch to bring home Brocato, as Knightes took the first pitch he saw to left for the final run of the frame.
Now leading 11-3, the Red Storm added its final three runs of the game in the seventh inning, as Antico ripped a two-run triple to right before Markey brought him home with an RBI single to left.
The Red Storm will return to action on Tuesday, playing host to Saint Peter's at 3 p.m. in the first of two midweek contests. The Johnnies will then welcome Columbia on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. before beginning BIG EAST play at Creighton on Friday.