April 12, 2005
Queens, NY - In a game that started with a raccoon stealing the show, it was the St. John's offense that turned out to be the main attraction. The Red Storm scored 24 runs over the first three innings, taking advantage of 10 walks and seven errors en route to a 26-1 win over St. Peter's in front of 202 fans on Tuesday night at The Ballpark.
The win extends St. John's win streak to 11 games - the longest since an 11-game streak in 1984 - and improves the Red Storm, ranked No. 35 in the country by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, to 20-9 overall. St. Peter's falls to 2-21.
The biggest question prior to the St. Peter's - St. John's baseball game on Tuesday night was what would wake up first, the St. Peter's pitching staff, or a raccoon that had nestled itself into the bleachers at the Ballpark.
Leading 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the Red Storm exploded for a school-record 12 innings off of St. Peter's starter Santo Maertz and reliever Scott Taylor. Senior PJ Antoniato (Levittown, NY) doubled home Jim Martin (Norwood, MA), who walked, to increase the lead to 5-0. After Antoniato stole third, senior Blake Hershelman (Georgetown, DE) followed with a towering home run to left - his second of the season - as the lead grew to 7-0. One pitch later, it was 8-0 when junior Eddie Schultz hit his third home run of the season over the left field wall.
Sophomore Anthony Smith (Katonah, NY) reached on an error and scored when junior Ken Devenney (Philadelphia, PA) doubled to left. Walks to freshman Jeff Grantham (Randolph, NJ) and Martin loaded the bases for Antoniato, who was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Junior Greg Thomson (Levittown, NY) followed with a single to right, scoring a pair of runs and increasing the lead to 12-0. Hershelman struck out and reached first on a wild pitch, which allowed Devenney to score. When Schultz reached on an error, scoring Hershelman and Thomson. The scoring closed out in the inning when Smith reached on an error, scoring Schultz.
The Red Storm had taken a 4-0 lead in the first when Martin reached on an error and Maertz issued walks to Antoniato and Thomson. A pair of wild pitches scored the first two runs and Smith drove in one with a single.
St. John's added eight more runs in the third, highlighted by run-scoring singles from freshmen Mike O'Malley (Nashua, NH) and Bryan Dirr (Levittown, NY), as well as redshirt freshman Chris Anninos (San Antonio, TX) and Smith.
The lone St. Peter's run came in the eighth when Kevin Kallert hit an RBI single, scoring Rob Scordato, who reached on an error.
The Red Storm had 21 hits, the third game this season with at least 20. Every St. John's starter had at least one hit, minus Martin, who was held hitless, but had three walks and scored four runs. Seven Red Storm players had at least two hits, led by Dirr, who had three hits.
St. John's freshman starter Nick Luisi (Bethpage, NY) picked up his first collegiate win, throwing 4.0 innings and giving up two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Classmate Dan Stanley (Sewell, NY) went 4.0 innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Redshirt freshman James Lally (Floral Park, NY) threw a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game.
St. John's plays next on Wednesday at Iona. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.