May 2, 2014
CINCINNATI - James Lomangino had eight strikeouts, Bret Dennis had a two-run home run and Michael Donadio turned a one-run lead into a four-run cushion with a three-run blast in the eighth as St. John's opened its series against Xavier with a 7-3 victory. Donadio finished 1-for-4 with three RBI, while Dennis went 2-for-5 with two RBI to lead St. John's (28-15, 8-2). Lomangino (5-4) allowed three runs, one earned, in 7.0 innings of work to earn the win. Vinny Nittoli was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run to pace Xavier (24-19, 7-3). Scott Klever (5-4) allowed seven runs in 8.0 innings of work in the losing effort.
St. John's rallied with two outs to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Klever retired the first two batters before Robert Wayman singled into center to extend the inning, but reached second on a fielding error. Matt Harris then walked before Jarred Mederos gave the Red Storm a 1-0 lead with an RBI single into left field.
Lomangino struck out the side in the bottom of the first and retired the first five batters he faced before Xavier used a two-out rally in the second to tie the game. Bo Slemons set the table with a two-out single before Nittoli walked and Stephen Schoettmer loaded the bases with an infield single. Michael Moore then walked to force in a run and tie the game at 1-1.
A two-out double helped the Red Storm retake the lead in the third. Dennis got things started with a one-out single into left, but was erased on a Wayman fielder's choice. Harris followed with an RBI double and St. John's took a 2-1 lead.
St. John's used the long ball to extend its lead with a two-run fifth frame. After Alex Caruso got things started with a one-out walk, Dennis launched a two-run home run to give the Red Storm a 4-1 advantage.
Xavier took advantage of an error and responded with a home run of its own to cut into the deficit with a pair of unearned runs in the sixth. Lomangino opened the frame with his seventh strikeout before Andre Jernigan reached on an error. After Jernigan stole second, Nittoli lifted a two-out, two-run homer to right center to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
St. John's answered with a three-run blast in the eighth inning. Wayman led off the frame with a double to left center before Harris was intentionally walked to give the Red Storm runners on first and second with no outs. Ty Blankmeyer then laid down a bunt, but Xavier was able to retire the leader runner at third base. Donadio, however, followed with a three-run blast to left field as the Red Storm took a 7-3 lead.
St. John's went to the bullpen in the eight as Thomas Hackimer entered and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth before closing out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.
St. John's continues its series against Xavier with a 1 p.m. game on May 3.