May 14, 2006
QUEENS, N.Y. - Behind 7.2 scoreless innings from freshman left-hander Scott Barnes, St. John's defeated USF, 4-3, to win the three-game conference series and wrap up its 2006 home schedule. Barnes allowed just three hits and struck out 11 to extend his scoreless innings streak to 17.2, and the Red Storm never trailed in its third straight BIG EAST series win.
St. John's improved to 36-15 overall and 15-8 in the BIG EAST with the win, while South Florida fell to 21-31 overall and 10-14 in conference action.
Barnes, who was named to the May 8 BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after shutting out Seton Hall over a career-high eight innings, picked up where he left off against USF on Sunday. The freshman registered his second career double-digit strikeout game and allowed just three hits and one walk in the win. Barnes extended a personal 17.2-inning scoreless streak and walked his first batter, to go along with 16 strikeouts, in the last 14 innings.
For the second straight day, Anthony Smith led the Red Storm offense with three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. The junior narrowly missed homering in his second straight game, when his blast in the fifth inning hit the top of the right field wall for an RBI double. Jeff Grantham, who came around to score on Smith's double, also went 3-for-4 while scoring two of the team's four runs.
St. John's quickly got on the board with a first-inning rally that resulted in three hits and two runs. Will Vogl drew a leadoff walk, and Grantham followed with a bunt single up the third base line. Sam DeLuca hit a single into shallow center field to load the bases, and Chris Joachim hit the team's seventh sacrifice fly in two games into deep right field to score Vogl from third base. Smith drove in the first of two runs in the game with a chopper over the head of first baseman Brandin Daniel, scoring Grantham from third base and giving the Red Storm a 2-0 lead.
It was the same combination of hitters doing damage for the Red Storm in the bottom half of the fifth. Grantham led off the inning with a single, stole second base and scored on Smith's two-out double off the right field wall. Chris Anninos then got into the act with an RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Barnes did not allow a base runner over the next 2.2 innings and Colin Lynch came in to get the final out of the eighth inning, but USF came storming back in the bottom of the ninth. Back-to-back walks to pinch-hitter Ty Taborelli and designated hitter Kris Howell, and a one-out walk to right fielder Joey Angelberger loaded the bases for Daniel. The first baseman ripped a 2-1 offering from Rich Armento into center field to score two runs and leave runners on first and second with one out. An unearned run scored on a wild pitch, and Armento induced a game-ending groundout to Grantham to end the game with a runner on second base.
St. John's next travels to Cincinnati for its final three games of the regular season, beginning Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Following the conference series, the Red Storm travels to Clearwater, Fla., for the eight-team BIG EAST Championship. Tournament play starts on Tuesday, May 23, with seedings and game times still to be determined.