SENIOR NIGHT VICTORY: No. 23 St. John's Defeats Albany, 8-5|
May 7, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. - Michael Donadio went 4-for-5 as St. John's scored in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth frames to turn a 4-2 deficit into an 8-5 victory against Albany on Senior Night at Jack Kaiser Stadium. Matt Harris finished 2-for-5 with a two-run double and Ty Blankmeyer went 2-for-3 to help lead St. John's (31-15). Matt Hennie (2-0) tossed 1.2 scoreless frames to earn the win in relief. Richard Bacon had three RBI to pace Albany (9-30), while Terry Dugdale (0-1) allowed one unearned run in 1.1 innings of work to take the loss.
Albany sent eight men to the plate in the first inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Jeff VonMoser walked before DJ Hoagboon singled and Josh Nethaway was plunked to load the bases with one out. Craig Lepre then walked to force in a run before Bacon lined a two-run single into left field.
St. John's responded immediately with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Blankmeyer started things with a one-out single up the middle and Robert Wayman walked before Harris made it a 3-2 ballgame with a two-run double off the wall in right field.
The Great Danes took advantage of a leadoff double by Lepre to add a run in the third. After moving to third on a flyout, Lepre scored on a Bacon sacrifice fly as Albany went up 4-2.
The Red Storm got a run back in the fifth as Bret Dennis set the table with a leadoff single. Donadio then singled through the right side and moved to second on the throw as Dennis advanced safely to third. Troy Dixon followed with an RBI groundout and St. John's trailed 4-3.
A leadoff walk and two wild pitches helped Albany get the run back and take a 5-3 lead in the sixth. Cory Kingston walked to lead off the inning before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. Mike Sheppard III then struck out Hoagboon, who reached safely on a wild pitch as Kingston took third. After a walk loaded the bases and chased Sheppard from the game, Hennie delivered a wild pitch to allow one run to score before retiring the next two batters.
St. John's, however, rallied with two outs to tie the game at 5-5 with a two-run sixth. Harris began the rally with a two-out bunt single, but reached second on a throwing error. Harris then stole third and scored on a wild pitch as Dennis took ball four. Donadio followed with a single into right field before a walk to Zach Lauricella loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Joe Burns then reached on an RBI fielder's choice as Albany tried unsuccessfully to retire the runner at second, but Albany got out of the inning with a throw home to get Donadio trying to score from second.
After a 1-2-3 inning from Hennie in the seventh, St. John's took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Alex Caruso reached on an error to get things started with one out before a Robbie Knightes single gave the Red Storm runners on the corners. Wayman then reached on an RBI fielder's choice as St. John's took its first lead of the game at 6-5.
Following a 1-2-3 inning from Thomas Hackimer in the eighth, the Red Storm added two more runs in the eighth. Donadio reached on an infield single with one out and stole second before Lauricella drew his third walk of the game. Dan Roland then loaded the bases with a bunt single before a wild pitch advanced all three runners and plated a run. Caruso followed with an RBI bunt single to make it an 8-5 ballgame.
Joe Kuzia worked a scoreless ninth to record his 11th save of the season.
St. John's returns to action and continues its five-game homestand on May 9 with a 6 p.m. game against Creighton. The series, which pits two teams tied atop the BIG EAST standings against one another, will include two games on ESPN3 (Friday and Saturday) and one game on FOX Sports 1 (Sunday).