Berardi's Walk-Off Single Lifts No. 11 St. John's to Series Win against Seton Hall|
April 30, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - With two gone and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth and the score tied at one, the dynamic offensive duo of Michael Donadio and Jesse Berardi strung together consecutive two-out hits, pushing across the game-winning run and securing a series victory for the Red Storm over Seton Hall.
After falling behind in the count 0-2 with no one on base and two outs in the home half of the ninth, Donadio smacked an opposite-field double to the corner in left, registering his fourth hit of the day and putting a runner in scoring position for Berardi. The junior shortstop jumped on the first pitch he saw, ripping a single into right center field and scoring Donadio from second to give the Johnnies their first walk-off victory since Jarred Mederos launched a three-run, walk-off home run against Albany on May 5, 2015.
Donadio put forth an incredible effort to lead the Red Storm (31-7, 6-3), reaching base in all five of his plate appearances by going 4-for-4 with a walk and scoring both of the team's runs. Entering the game tied for sixth place on the program's all-time hits list, Donadio jumped all the way to second in just three hours, extending his career total to 246 and pulling even with Paul Karmas (2008-11). The senior is now 32 hits away from matching former Red Storm standout and current volunteer assistant coach Matt Wessinger for the program's all-time lead.
Freshman left-hander Joe LaSorsa recorded his fourth win of the season, surrendering just one hit and striking out two in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Michael LoPresti made the start and impressed over 5.2 frames of work, allowing just one run to come across and scattering six hits.
The Red Storm brought home a run in the first inning for the 15th time this season on Sunday, as Donadio belted a one-out double to left before advancing to third on a Berardi groundout and scoring on a Gingras single to center.
After stranding a runner at third in the top of the third, Seton Hall (23-18, 6-6) knotted the contest at one in the fourth, as Al Molina started the frame with a double off the wall in left before coming around to score a few batters later.
The Johnnies threatened on several occasions over the next few frames, stranding a pair of runners in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Red Storm's best chance prior to the ninth came in the home half of the eighth, when Gingras singled to lead off the inning before Shaw laid a beautiful bunt single down the first base line, giving the Johnnies two on with no out. Troy Dixon sacrificed the runners over to second and third in the following at-bat, but Seton Hall escaped the inning unharmed, as Anthony Pacillo recorded a strikeout and a flyout to end the frame.
St. John's returns to action on Tuesday, playing host to Iona at 6 p.m. at Jack Kaiser Stadium. The contest will serve as the team's annual Senior Day, as Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer will honor the contributions of six senior Johnnies prior to the start of the game.