No. 18 St. John's Completes Series Sweep with 15-3 Win over Xavier|
May 14, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Looking to pick up its second sweep of the season in BIG EAST play, the No. 18 St. John's Red Storm registered three separate four-run innings en route to a dominant 15-3 victory over Xavier on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Storm's 15 runs were the most scored by the team in a league contest this year and just one off its season-high of 16 recorded against Iona on May 2.
Three Johnnies recorded multi-RBI efforts on the afternoon, led by Jesse Berardi. The junior shortstop from Commack, N.Y., went 4-for-6 with four RBIs, tying a career-high in hits and pacing a potent offensive attack for the Red Storm (37-8, 11-4).
Troy Dixon tallied three run-scoring singles against the Musketeers (25-25, 7-6), going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Josh Shaw also drove in multiple runs for the Red Storm with a two-RBI double in the third.
Robert Boselli III also drove in a run for the Red Storm, while senior third baseman Robbie Knightes went 3-for-4 and scored three times. In addition, Jamie Galazin singled and scored a run on the afternoon.
Michael LoPresti tossed the first 4.2 frames of the contest for the Red Storm, allowing two runs and falling just short of the inning threshold necessary to pick up his sixth win of the season. Turner French threw the next 2.2 innings for the Johnnies, surrendering two hits and a run while striking out three. Ryan McAuliffe made his first appearance for the Johnnies since March 18 to close out the contest, retiring all five batters he faced and picking up his fourth win of the season.
With two outs in the top of the first and no one on base, Xavier strung together three-straight hits to push across the first run of the game.
In the home half of the second, the Red Storm used a two-out rally of its own to tie the contest at one. Knightes led off the sequence by wearing a pitch on the hand before moving to second on a Galazin single through the right side. With Valente at the plate, Knightes took advantage of two wild pitches from Greg Jacknewitz, coming around to score and pulling his team even at one after two innings of play.
After turning a clutch 3-6-1 double play to end a Xavier threat in the top of the third, the Johnnies exploded for four runs in the ensuing frame, pushing their lead to 5-1 after three innings. Donadio sparked the rally with a double down the line in right before moving to third on a deep fly ball to center from Berardi. Following an intentional walk to Brocato to put runners on the corners, Dixon battled for 10 pitches before smacking a single through the right side, scoring Donadio and advancing Brocato to third. Next up to the plate was Shaw, who pushed a 1-0 breaking ball into the right field corner, bringing home a pair of runs with a bases-clearing two-bagger. The Red Storm was not finished yet, as Boselli poked a single through the right side in the next at-bat, scoring Shaw from second and making it 5-1 in favor of the Johnnies heading into the top of the fourth.
Following a 1-2-3 frame from LoPresti in the top of the fourth, the Johnnies added two more in the home half. After a Valente leadoff single and a walk from Donadio to give the Red Storm runners on first and second with no outs, Berardi ripped an RBI single to center. Two batters later, Dixon delivered his second RBI base knock of the game, scoring Donadio and making it 7-1 in favor of the Johnnies after four.
Xavier added a run to pull within five, 7-2, in the top of the fifth, but the Red Storm responded with four runs on RBI singles from Valente, Donadio, Berardi and Dixon to take its largest lead of the game, 11-2, heading into the sixth.
After Xavier scored again on a solo shot from Blaine Griffiths in the top of the sixth, the Johnnies would score their final four runs of the game in the home half, taking the decisive 15-3 advantage which they would end the game. With the bases loaded after a Knightes single and a pair of walks from Donadio and Mike Antico, Berardi delivered a two-RBI single to center. Following a throwing error from the catcher that allowed Donadio to score from third, Brocato would drive in the Johnnies' final run of the contest with an RBI double off the wall in left.
The Red Storm will return to action on Tuesday, traveling to LIU Brooklyn for its final midweek contest of the season. First pitch between the Johnnies and the Blackbirds is scheduled for 3 p.m.