April 5, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - James Lomangino worked 7.0 scoreless innings as St. John's recorded its second shutout in the past three games with a 3-0 win against Connecticut. Lomangino (1-2) had seven strikeouts to earn his first win of the season in the longest outing of his career. Danny Bethea was 2-for-3 with a double, while Frank Schwindel and Zach Lauricella were both 1-for-4 with an RBI to lead St. John's (13-16, 3-4). Eric Yavarone was 2-for-4 to pace Connecticut (16-12, 3-4). Carson Cross (5-1) had 10 strikeouts, but suffered his first loss of the year after allowing three runs in a complete game effort.
St. John's strung together three-consecutive two-outs hits to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Cross struck out each of the first two batters, Martin Kelly got things started with an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop. Schwindel then smashed an RBI double to wall in right center before Lauricella lined an RBI single into right field to give the Red Storm an early 2-0 advantage.
Connecticut threatened in the second inning as Yavarone singled with one out before Connor David reached on a two-out error to extend the inning, but Jimmy Brennan made a diving catch end the inning.
The first three batters reached base in the third as St. John's loaded the bases with no outs, but was kept off the board. Ty Blankmeyer grounded a single through the left side and Alex Caruso lined a single up the middle before Sean O'Hare laid down a sacrifice bunt, but reached on an error to load the bases. Cross, however, got a strikeout before fielding a comebacker and throwing home for the forceout at the plate. Another Cross strikeout ended the inning as the Red Storm stranded three runners.
The Huskies then loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the frame, but Lomangino worked out of the jam. Tom Verdi singled to open the frame before Billy Ferriter was plunked and Vinny Siena drew a walk, but Lomangino got back-to-back strikeouts before inducing a shallow flyout to right field to keep UConn off the board.
St. John's loaded the bases with no outs for the second-straight inning to setup a one-run frame in the fourth. Bethea doubled to the wall in straightaway center to lead off the inning before Kyle Lombardo grounded an infield single to third base. Brennan then laid a bunt down the third base line, but reached first on a single as UConn let it roll and watched as it stayed fair. Blankmeyer followed with an RBI groundout to give the Red Storm a 3-0 lead, but Cross responded with a strikeout and an inning-ending groundout to limit the damage.
The teams continued to trade bases-loaded situations as Connecticut loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Stanley Paul was plunked to lead off the inning before Jack Sundberg grounded a one-out single through the left side and Verdi walked to load the bases. Lomangino, however, rolled a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play to keep the Huskies from scoring.
Connecticut put the leadoff man on base in the fifth as Siena doubled, but Lomangino induced a pop up and a groundout before ending the inning with a strikeout.
Lomangino buckled down again in the sixth after Paul walked to leadoff the frame and ended up at third with one out after stealing second and advancing on an errant throw into centerfield. Lomangino induced a shallow fly ball to left to keep Stanley at third base before ending the inning with his seventh strikeout.
After a 1-2-3 seventh for Lomangino, St. John's went to the bullpen and brought in Joey Graziano. The reliever retired the first batter he faced before allowing a one-out single to Yavarone. Graziano then plunked pinch hitter Max McDowell with two outs before getting pinch hitter LJ Mazzilli to groundout to third to end the inning.
St. John's looked to add an insurance run in the ninth as Bret Dennis led off with a double to the wall in right center and took third on a Caruso sacrifice bunt, but Cross kept the Red Storm off the board with a pair of groundouts.
Connecticut put the leadoff man on in the bottom of the ninth as Verdi walked, but Graziano induced a flyout before rolling a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and record his third save.
St. John's continues its series against Connecticut on April 6 with a 1 p.m. game.