No. 15 St. John's Uses 11-Run Second Inning to Top Iona, 16-4|
May 2, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Led by an 11-run second inning that saw the Red Storm bring 15 batters to the plate, No. 15 St. John's cruised to a 16-4 victory over Iona on Senior Night at Jack Kaiser Stadium on Tuesday.
Robbie Knightes tallied a game-high three RBIs on the evening despite going 0-for-2 in three plate appearances, while John Valente, Gui Gingras and Mark Venice all added two RBIs apiece for the Red Storm. Venice launched his first home run of the season, as did freshman Mike Antico, who went 2-for-2 on the evening.
Michael Donadio went 2-for-3 with an RBI while classmate Troy Dixon went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI on Senior Night. Now with 248 career hits, Donadio can claim sole possession of second place on the program's career list in that category.
Catcher Kyle Cunningham turned in the best performance of his St. John's tenure on Senior Night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Josh Shaw went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while freshman Josh Greene tallied the first hit and first RBI of his St. John's career against the Gaels, singling in the seventh before drawing a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.
Making his first start since March 3, Kevin Magee picked up his fourth victory of the season, allowing one hit and one walk over the first two innings of a scheduled staff-day for the Red Storm (32-7, 6-3). Turner French turned in yet another solid performance out of the bullpen for the Johnnies, allowing only one walk over 2.1 innings. Matt Messier, Aaron Herr and David Moyer also made appearances out of the pen for the Red Storm, combining to allow only one earned run over 4.2 frames. Moyer tossed a perfect inning of relief in the ninth, striking out one.
After failing to register a hit in the first, St. John's unleashed its most explosive offensive effort of the season in the second, plating 11 runs on 11 hits to blow the game open. Shaw and Dixon led off the frame with singles to right field, the latter of which moved Shaw to third. Knightes brought home the first run of the game with a sac fly to center in the next at-bat and the Red Storm would not record another out until Knightes came around again eight batters later and hit an RBI grounder to second. In the meantime, eight-straight Red Storm batters reached base, beginning with a pair of singles from Cunningham and Galazin to load the bags for Valente. The redshirt junior smacked a single to right center, scoring Cunningham and Dixon to make it 3-0 Johnnies. Donadio and Berardi then hit consecutive RBI singles before Gingras brought them both home with a two-bagger to the gap in left center. After Shaw was hit by a pitch, Dixon doubled to the left field corner to score Gingras and move Shaw to third. With Shaw 90 feet away, the Red Storm finally recorded that second out, as Knightes grounded out to second and brought in Shaw, making it 9-0 in favor of the Johnnies. The Red Storm would push across two more runs before the inning was over on a Cunningham double and a Galazin single, extending the lead to 11-0 after two.
The Johnnies added another run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI fielder's choice from Knightes before the Gaels (17-18, 10-5) cut into the lead in the visitor half of the fifth, plating three unearned runs to make it 12-3 after four and a half.
After driving across their first 12 runs of the contest by staying in the park, the Johnnie utilized the long ball to bring home their next three. Antico led off the bottom of the sixth with one of the longest home runs you'll see at Jack Kaiser Stadium, launching a ball over the bullpen in right field and into the parking lot. The following inning Venice belted a two-run bomb into the St. John's bullpen and extended the Red Storm lead to 12, 15-3, heading into the eighth.
Iona would inflict its first earned run of the day on the Johnnies in the top of the eight, but the Red Storm responded with another tally, as Greene drew a walk for his first career RBI.
The Red Storm returns to BIG EAST action on Friday, traveling to our nation's capital for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Hoyas.