Red Storm Blasts Five Home Runs To Knock Off No. 24 Notre Dame, 10-3|
April 25, 2008
Gino Matias and Greg Hopkins each added solo home runs to add to the Red Storm's offensive attack. The Irish (27-11-1, 12-4) had not allowed five home runs at Frank Eck Stadium since April 2, 1994 against Miami. Red Storm starter Scott Barnes, meanwhile, earned the win after allowing just three runs in 6.2 innings. Also for St. John's, Carlos Del Rosario, Daniel Benedetti and Jeff Grantham had three hits apiece.
Notre Dame threatened in the bottom of the first, but Barnes was able to shut the door. After retiring the first two batters, Barnes allowed a single to A.J. Pollock. Barnes would then throw to first as Pollock took off for second, but an errant throw by first baseman Gil Zayas would allow Pollock to reach third. Barnes would then strike out Jeremy Barnes to end the inning.
After retiring the first two batters in the second, Barnes allowed a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. The lefty, though, induced a ground out to once again keep Notre Dame off the board.
The Red Storm threatened in the third, but could not break through against Irish starter David Phelps. Daniel Benedetti singled to open up the inning and Jeff Grantham followed with a line drive down the right field line. Grantham, however, was thrown out trying to reach second as Benedetti moved to third. Brian Kemp would follow with a four pitch walk, but Phelps would induce an inning-ending double play to keep St. John's off the board.
St. John's would break the scoreless game with a run in the fifth inning. With one out, back-to-back singles by Carlos Del Rosario and Benedetti gave the Red Storm runners on first and third. Grantham then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt just past the pitcher Phelps as Del Rosario raced home to put St. John's on the board and up 1-0. Grantham would reach first with a single as Phelps could not make a play. Kemp would advance both runners with a groundout, but Phelps would end the inning with a fly out.
In the bottom of the frame, Notre Dame would get on the scoreboard. After a groundout to open the inning, David Mills singled and Pollock reached on a bunt single. A walk would load the bases before Ross Brezovsky would send a sacrifice fly into center field to tie the game at 1-1. A wild pitch would allow both runners to advance and Billy Boockford then singled through the left side to plate two runners. Boockford would be thrown at second, however, to end the inning.
The Red Storm blasted its way right back in the top of the sixth with back-to-back home runs. With two outs, Chris Anninos roped a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall to make it a 3-2 game. Just two pitches later, Greg Hopkins blasted an offering over the fence in left to tie the score at 3-3. Entering the game, Phelps had allowed just one home run in 61.1 innings this year. Del Rosario kept the inning alive with a single and then stole second. Benedetti followed with the Red Storm's fourth straight hit, an RBI single up the middle to give St. John's a 4-3 lead.
Matias followed suit in the seventh as the second baseman connected on a 2-0 pitch for a solo home run to left field. Two batters later, Anninos belted his second solo home run of the game to put St. John's up 6-3. The Anninos home run would end the day for Phelps as Notre Dame would bring in righty Steven Mazur to end the inning.
Barnes (5-3) would retire the first two batters in the seventh before being lifted in favor of Miguel Valcarcel. The righty reliever would end the inning by retiring the first batter he faced.
Del Rosario led off the eighth with a double for St. John's and moved to third on a Benedetti sacrifice bunt. An RBI single by Grantham would extend the Red Storm's lead to 7-3. Scott Ferrara was then plunked by a Mazur offering to give the Red Storm two on with one out. After the second out was made, Paul Karmas launched a three run home run to give St. John's a 10-3 lead.
Valcarcel would hold the Irish scoreless over the final 2.1 innings.
Notes: Anninos is now tied for sixth all-time with 22 career home runs ... Barnes now has 228 career strikeouts to remain in fifth place on the all-time list.