St. John's Sweeps Series-Opening Doubleheader Against Butler|
May 7, 2016
QUEENS, N.Y. - After Josh Shaw singled home the game's only two runs in the seventh inning of a 2-0 win in game one, St. John's (24-19-1, 7-4) completed a doubleheader sweep of Butler (12-33, 3-11) by scoring the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning of a 4-3 victory in game two.
Shaw finished 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks in game one to back a strong outing by Kevin Torres (3-1), who scattered six hits in 7.0 scoreless innings to earn the victory. Robbie Knightes was 3-for-3 with a run scored and Thomas Hackimer tossed 2.0 scoreless innings for the save. Michael Hartnagel went 2-for-4 for Butler, while Nick Morton (2-6) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs in 6.2 innings.
Anthony Brocato went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run to lead the Red Storm in game two, while Jamie Galazin was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Joe Napolitano (3-1) had three strikeouts in 3.1 shutout innings of relief for the win. Gehrig Parker was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run for the Bulldogs in the second game. Bobby Napoleon (0-6) took the loss after allowing four runs in 7.0 innings of work.
St. John's threatened in the third inning of the opener, but stranded a pair of runners in scoring position. Galazin led off with a single up the middle before Knightes reached on a bunt single and an Alex Caruso sacrifice bunt quickly set up runners on second and third. Morton, however, escaped with a strikeout and a flyout.
Torres, meanwhile, retired 11 of the first 13 batters he faced before working in and out of trouble in the fourth. Jordan Lucio set the table with a two-out double before Parker singled to set up runners on the corners, but a flyout ended the inning.
St. John's stranded runners on second and third again in the fifth. Morton quickly retired the first two batters before Knightes extended the inning with a single to right. Caruso followed with a double into the left field corner, but Morton ended the inning with a flyout as the game remained scoreless.
After Torres tossed a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, St. John's plated the game's only runs in the bottom of the seventh. Knightes started things with a one-out single and Caruso was plunked before a two-out walk to Michael Donadio loaded the bases and sent Butler to the bullpen. Shaw swung at the first pitch from reliever Danny Pobereyko and gave the Red Storm a 2-0 lead with a two-run single into left field.
Hackimer relieved Torres in the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame before working a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the save.
Game two remained scoreless until Butler used the long ball to grab the lead in the fourth. Chris Marras set the table with a one-out single and advanced to second on a passed ball before Parker gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run.
St. John's answered immediately and used the long ball to grab a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame. Shaw started things with a one-out single, but was erased as Jesse Berardi reached on a fielder's choice. After Knightes doubled into the left field corner, Brocato launched a three-run home run to left field.
Butler, however, tied the game and chased starter Ryan McAuliffe with a run in the fifth. After issuing a leadoff walk, McAuliffe retired the next two batters before Drew Small tied the game with a two-out RBI double. St. John's went to the bullpen for Napolitano, who ended the inning with a strikeout.
Napolitano worked 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh before St .John's plated the decisive run in the bottom of the seventh. John Valente led off with a pinch-hit single and took second on a Caruso sacrifice bunt. Galazin then gave the Red Storm a 4-3 lead on a slow-rolling infield single up the third baseline. As the catcher, pitcher and third baseman all converged on the ball, Valente rounded third and raced to an uncovered home plate.
Napolitano tossed another 1-2-3 frame in the eighth before Hackimer earned his second save of the day with a scoreless ninth.
St. John's concludes its series against Butler on May 8 at noon (ESPN3).