Princeton Tops No. 11 St. John's, 4-2|
April 26, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - For the second time in the last three weeks, the No. 11 St. John's Red Storm fell into an early hole at home against an Ivy League opponent, as the Johnnies saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night with a 4-2 loss to Princeton at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
Trailing by a pair heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Red Storm (29-6) brought the potential game-winning run to the plate with two outs, but a groundout to the shortstop ended the contest and handed the Johnnies just their sixth loss of the year and their second defeat at home.
Sporting the fourth-highest team batting average in the nation heading into the contest, St. John's was limited to just six hits, the squad's second-lowest total of the season, by freshmen pitchers Andrew Gnazzo and Conor Nolan. Wednesday night marked only the second time in 35 games this season that the Red Storm had been outhit by its opponent.
Gui Gingras led the way for St. John's, going 2-for-4 with the team's lone RBI of the evening. Troy Dixon and Anthony Brocato both went 1-for-4 with a run scored while Josh Shaw and Michael Donadio added singles. Donadio's base knock moved him into a tie with Charlie Bilezikjian (239) for seventh on the St. John's all-time hits list.
Junior shortstop Jesse Berardi saw his 16-game hitting streak come to an end on Wednesday, going 0-for-2 with three walks.
Princeton (10-26-1) struck first, plating four runs in the top of the second to take an early 4-0 lead.
The Red Storm pitching staff managed to keep Princeton off the board for the final seven innings of the contest. Turner French threw 2.1 scoreless innings, while Joe Kelly allowed just one hit over 1.2 innings to lower his ERA to 0.59 on the season. Joe LaSorsa and Gavin Hollowell each recorded two outs, while Jamie Galazin pitched for the first time since Feb. 20, 2016, tossing a scoreless ninth inning and striking out one. Matt Messier picked up his second loss of the season, surrendering four earned runs and seven hits in 2.2 frames.
After registering just one hit over the game's first three innings, the Red Storm used a two-out rally to push across a pair of runs in the fourth, narrowing the deficit to a pair, 4-2, heading into the fifth. Dixon and Brocato kicked off the rally with consecutive two-out singles, putting runners on first and second for Gingras. The redshirt senior sent the first pitch he saw to the corner in left field, scoring Dixon and moving Brocato to third with an RBI double. Next up was Shaw, who hit a grounder to third that the fielder was unable to handle, reaching on an error and scoring Brocato to make it 4-2.
St. John's threatened on a number of occasions over the game's closing frames, but proved unable to plate a run, as the Red Storm left two runners on in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings.
LaSorsa and Hollowell worked their way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth to keep the Red Storm's hopes alive. After a pair of errors and an infield single loaded the bags, LaSorsa recorded a strikeout before Hollowell came in and got a batter looking and then forced an inning-ending grounder to third.
The Red Storm returns to BIG EAST action for the first time in two weeks on Friday, welcoming Seton Hall to The Jack for the first contest of a three-game set.