No. 4 St. John's Drops First Home Contest of the Season to Columbia, 7-4|
April 5, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Despite scoring the final four runs of the contest and holding Columbia scoreless over the closing seven frames, No. 4 St. Johns' proved unable to overcome a slow start as the Lions weathered the Red Storm, 7-4, at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
Shaw and Galazin drove in one run each for the Johnnies, as did John Valente.
Senior third baseman Robbie Knightes went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Red Storm bullpen combined to surrender no runs, no walks and just two hits over the game's final 24 outs. Joe Kelly entered with the bases loaded and no outs in the second and silenced the Columbia bats, surrendering no runs, no hits and no walks while striking out three over three innings of work.
Despite the loss, the Red Storm registered 10 hits to the Lions' six, marking the 23rd time in 24 chances that the Johnnies have outhit their opponent this season.
Columbia (6-15) took a commanding lead in the top of the first, plating six runs on four hits in the game's opening frame. Designated hitter Chandler Bengtson brought home four of those runs with just one swing, smacking a one-out grand slam into the right field bullpen.
The Lions added another in the top of the second, drawing four-straight walks to take a 7-0 lead after one and a half.
The Red Storm broke through in the bottom of the fifth, plating a pair of runs to cut into the deficit. Knightes tallied the inning's first hit with a one-out single before Galazin added another base knock two batters later. Following a throwing error by the right fielder after the latter hit, both runners advanced an additional 90 feet. With runners on second and third, Valente stepped to the plate and hit a grounder up the middle that was corralled by the second baseman. With Knightes having already scored, an errant throw scooted past the first baseman and allowed Galazin to touch home, bringing the Red Storm within five, 7-2.
The Johnnies added another tally in the bottom of the sixth, as Donadio led off the frame with a single to center. After two-straight outs, Gui Gingras walked to give the Red Storm a pair of runners before Shaw delivered an RBI single to left, cutting the Columbia advantage to four, 7-3, with three innings to play.
Following scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth, the Red Storm came to bat in the bottom of the ninth for the first time at The Jack this season, needing four runs to extend the game. Shaw started the inning with a single to left before Knightes drew a walk, giving the Johnnies two on with no outs. Next up was Kyle Cunningham, who looked as if he might have brought the Red Storm within one following a shot to left that hooked just foul. After the Lions turned a double play to bring the Johnnies down to their last out, Galazin knocked a single to right to score Shaw and cut the deficit to three. That was as close as the Red Storm would get; however, as Valente popped out to second to end the game.
The Red Storm kicks off BIG EAST play on Friday, traveling to Omaha for a 7:30 p.m. ET start with the Creighton Bluejays.