May 4, 2014
CINCINNATI (May 4, 2014) – Bret Dennis and Zach Lauricella each recorded three RBI to pace the Red Storm scoring effort as St. John’s defeated Xavier, 8-7, to complete the series sweep. Alex Caruso went 4-for-5 and Robert Wayman tallied two RBI and two runs scored to lead St. John’s (30-15, 10-2), while Matt Clancy (2-3) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win for the Red Storm. Alex Katz threw 3.0 innings and recorded three strikeouts in the first BIG EAST start of his career for the no-decision while Joe Kuzia sat down two batters in the ninth inning to earn the save. Daniel Rizzie went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Musketeers (24-21, 7-5).
Caruso led off the top of the first inning with the first of his four hits on the afternoon, a single up the middle. After advancing to second on a steal, Xavier starter Adam Hall retired the next two batters to fend off the St. John’s threat.
The Red Storm scored first in the second when a lead off walk from Dennis and a single from Michael Donadio set the table for Lauricella with runners on the corners. Lauricella drove in both with a bases-clearing double down the third base line to give St. John’s an early 2-0 lead. The Musketeers would respond in the home half of the frame with a Jake Forrester RBI single that cut the Xavier deficit to one, 2-1.
St. John’s would plate two more runs in the top of the third that made it 4-1 on an RBI single from Dennis and a run scored by Matt Harris on a fielder’s choice. Katz could not keep XU off the board in the home half of the third, however, as a Derek Hasenbeck solo shot and an Andre Jernigan RBI single made it a 4-3 ballgame.
In the fourth inning, a single by Wayman that scored Caruso and a two RBI single from Dennis gave St. John’s a four run cushion, 7-3. In relief of Katz, Matt Hennie retired the side in the bottom half of the fourth, inducing two fly outs and a groundout.
The Red Storm went down in order in the top of the fifth inning, the first time SJU hadn’t scored in the game since the first inning, before the Musketeers sparked a furious comeback in the bottom of the fifth as they plated four runs to tie the game at 7-7.
After Tyler Sanchez was hit by a pitch and back-to-back singles from Caruso and Troy Dixon, Wayman’s drew a walk with the bases loaded in the sixth that scored the go-ahead run to give St. John’s an 8-7 lead. Clancy kept the Xavier offense at bay in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings before he was replaced by Thomas Hackimer in the eighth. Hackimer recorded a 1-2-3 inning in that frame with two strikeouts.
St. John’s went down in order in the top of the ninth but a combination of Hackimer and Kuzia retired the side in the final frame to seal the 8-7 win.
St. John’s returns to action on Tuesday, May 6 when the Red Storm takes on Albany at 6 p.m.
-- Red Storm --