Severe Weather Sinks St. John's Comeback Bid against No. 11 Minnesota, 8-4, in Eight Innings|
May 15, 2018
QUEENS, N.Y. - With the tying run at the plate and one out in the bottom of the ninth, the St. John's baseball team saw its hopes for yet another walk-off win dashed by Mother Nature, as fast-moving severe thunderstorms forced the calling of the Red Storm's game with No. 11 Minnesota on Tuesday afternoon.
By rule, the score reverted back to its standing at the end of the last equal inning, giving the Golden Gophers an 8-4 victory in eight.
With the Red Storm trailing 8-4 following a scoreless top of the ninth from Aaron Herr, Jamie Galazin led off the home half with a solo bomb over the left field fence, pulling the Johnnies within three. Josh Shaw then drew a five-pitch walk before a Mark Venice base knock two batters later gave the Red Storm runners on the corners and brought the tying run to the plate in freshman Brandon Miller. The umpires and coaching staffs, however, agreed to end the game at that moment due to quickly worsening weather conditions, which featured lightning in the area and dangerously high winds.
As a result, the ninth inning to that point was wiped from the official record the Red Storm fell to 34-13, while Minnesota, the highest ranked opponent to visit Jack Kaiser Stadium since No. 8 Louisville in 2013, improved to 35-13.
Shaw and Jordan Gillerman registered multi-hit outings for the Johnnies, as both infielders went 2-for-3 and drew a walk. Gillerman also added an RBI on the afternoon, as did Robert Boselli III, Mike Antico and Ryan Markey.
St. John's struck in the home half of the first despite not registering a hit, as Galazin worked a one-out walk before swiping second and taking third on a throwing error by the catcher. Following a Shaw walk, Boselli lifted a sac fly to the gap in right center, easily scoring Galazin and putting the Johnnies ahead 1-0.
A two-out rally in the top of the third gave Minnesota its first lead of the afternoon, as a Luke Pettersen single and a Ben Mezzenga walk set the table for Terrin Vavra, who went the opposite way for a three-run homer over the left field fence.
Following a pair of scoreless frames from both sides in the fourth and fifth innings, Vavra left the yard again in the top of the sixth, driving a solo shot to right center and increasing the Minnesota lead to three, 4-1, after five and a half.
The Gophers added four more in the top of the eighth, three of which were unearned, to push its advantage to seven, 8-1, heading into the home half of the inning.
The Johnnies responded with three runs of their own in the ensuing frame. Boselli, Venice and Miller reached base to start the inning, loading the bags for Antico. The sophomore had a base knock taken away by a sliding effort at second, but still managed to bring home a run on the play. Markey then suffered a similar fate, as a screamer down the first base line was snagged my Micah Coffey, plating a run but recording the second out of the inning. Gillerman added a run-scoring single to center in the following at-bat, giving the Johnnies their third tally of the inning and trimming the deficit to 8-4.
After a scoreless top of the ninth from Herr, the Red Storm saw their chances evaporated by the aforementioned wanton whims of Mother Nature, sealing the victory for Minnesota.
St. John's will close out the regular season with a three-game set against Butler beginning on Thursday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium. Just one Red Storm victory in that series will clinch the program's league-record ninth BIG EAST Regular Season Championship.