St. John's Splits Doubleheader Against Xavier|
April 23, 2016
CINCINNATI - St. John's rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to register a 4-2 win in game one before Xavier used six home runs to defeat the Red Storm, 11-8, in game two.
Troy Dixon went 2-for-4 with a tie-breaking two-run double to lead St. John's (20-15-1, 5-3) in game one, while Robbie Knightes was 4-for-4 with a run scored. Michael Donadio was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, and Anthony Brocato was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Thomas Hackimer had three strikeouts in 3.0 scoreless innings for the win in relief of Kevin Torres, who tossed 6.0 innings of two-run ball in his first-career start.
Will LaRue went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Andre Jernigan finished 1-for-4 with an RBI triple for Xavier in game one. Zac Lowther (4-4) took the loss after allowing four runs in 7.1 innings of work.
Josh Shaw (0-for-2) and Knightes (2-for-4) had three RBI apiece to pace the offense in game two. Donadio went 3-for-5 with two runs and Brocato was 2-for-3. Tyler Bauman (0-1) took the loss after allowing six runs in 1.1 innings of relief.
Jernigan went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run, while Daniel Rizzie (3-for-5) and Nate Soria (2-for-3) each had two solo home runs for the Musketeers. Damien Richard (4-2) tossed 4.1 innings of one-run relief for the victory.
In game one, Xavier took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-out triple. After Rizzie reached on an infield single and took second with an errant throw on the play, Jernigan put the Musketeers on the board with an RBI triple to right field.
St. John's saw the tying run thrown out at home to end the top of the second. Lowther quickly retired the first two batters before Knightes reached on a two-out double to extend the inning. Brocato followed with a single through the left side, but a good relay throw retired Knightes at home.
Lowther tossed a 1-2-3 third before Torres worked around a one-out double in the bottom of the third. Dixon set the table in the fourth with a one-out single, but Lowther rolled an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play and Torres worked around another one-out double in the bottom of the frame as the score remained 1-0.
St. John's could not take advantage of a leadoff walk in the sixth and was kept off the board. Alex Caruso drew the walk to lead off the frame, but was doubled off at first on a popped up bunt. After Donadio restarted things with a double to left field, Lowther ended the inning with a strikeout.
Torres, meanwhile, tossed 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth before St. John's grabbed the lead with two runs in the seventh. Shaw tied the game and extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a solo home run to lead off the inning. Knightes followed with a one-out infield single and took second on a wild pitch before Brocato made it a 2-1 ballgame with an RBI single.
Xavier then chased Torres and tied the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh. LaRue led off the inning with a double and Ethan Schmidt singled to set up runners on the corners. The Red Storm went to the bullpen for Hackimer, who promptly got a strikeout of pinch hitter David Morton. Rylan Bannon, however, tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI sacrifice bunt before a strikeout ended the frame.
St. John's answered immediately and chased Lowther as part of a two-run eighth. Caruso set the table with a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Donadio was then intentionally walked before Dixon roped a two-run double to the gap in right center as the Red Storm grabbed a 4-2 lead. Xavier went to the bullpen for Taylor Williams, who retired his first two batters to end the rally.
Hackimer tossed a 1-2-3 eighth before Xavier threatened in the ninth. A leadoff walk was promptly followed by a single, but a strikeout and a lineout double play ended the game.
St. John's loaded the bases with no outs and took the lead with a four-run first in game two. Caruso took a pitch off the front shoulder before Galazin walked and Donadio lined a single into right to load the bases. Shaw then put the Red Storm on the board with a sacrifice fly before Jesse Berardi drew a two-out walk to reload the bases. Knightes promptly cleared the bags and gave St. John's a 4-0 advantage with a three-run double to the wall in left center.
Xavier got a run right back in the bottom of the first as Rizzie made it a 4-1 ballgame with a one-out solo home run.
The Musketeers trimmed the Red Storm lead to 4-2 in the second with a Soria home run to lead off the frame.
St. John's pushed its lead back to four with a pair of runs in the third. Donadio started things with a leadoff double before a Dixon single set up runners on the corners. Shaw followed with an RBI groundout and a Berardi sacrifice fly gave the Red Storm a 6-2 lead.
Xavier responded again as Rizzie made it 6-3 with his second home run of the game, a two-out solo home run.
The Musketeers chased starter Ryan McAuliffe and scored again in the fourth as Soria cut the lead to 6-4 with his second homer of the contest, a solo home run to open the frame. Bauman took the mound and retired his first three batters to end the inning.
Xavier used a pair of home runs to take its first lead of the game with a seven-run fifth inning. Gellenbeck had an RBI single before Jernigan gave the Musketeers the lead with a three-run home run to left center. Givin chased Bauman with a two-run homer and Joe Kelly surrendered an RBI single to Schmidt as Xavier opened up an 11-6 advantage.
St. John's got a run back in the eighth. Mark Venice drew a pinch-hit walk to lead off the inning before Donadio singled and a John Valente sacrifice bunt set up runners on second and third. Xavier went to the bullpen and Shaw trimmed the deficit to 11-7 with a sacrifice fly.
The Red Storm added one more run in the ninth for the final 11-8 margin. Knightes and Brocato opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Gavin Garay followed with an RBI groundout. Venice extended the inning with a two-out single, but Xavier brought in Garrett Schilling and a strikeout ended the game.
St. John's concludes its series against Xavier on April 24 with a noon rubber game.
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