No. 20 St. John's Reaches 40-Win Mark with 6-0 Blanking of Villanova|
May 19, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Behind 11 strikeouts from a trio of St. John's pitcher, the No. 20 Red Storm picked up its 40th win of the season in shutout fashion on Friday afternoon, topping Villanova, 6-0, at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
With the victory, the 2017 Red Storm (40-8, 13-4) became the ninth team in the 100-plus year history of St. John's Baseball to reach the 40-win plateau. The Johnnies, who joined the 2008 squad as the only teams to eclipse 40 wins before the end of the regular season, have now reached that mark in eight of the past 13 campaigns under Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer. With a win in tomorrow's series finale, the Red Storm could tie the program record for wins in a regular season, matching the 2008 team, who went 41-12 before the BIG EAST Tournament.
Kevin Magee started the contest for the Johnnies, recording a no-decision after 3.2 innings of four-hit ball. The junior left-hander struck out six and walked one over that stretch. Joe LaSorsa picked up his sixth win of the year in relief of Magee, holding the Wildcats off the board for 4.1 frames while allowing just three hits and striking out four. Joe Kelly pitched the ninth for the Johnnies, punching out one in a 1-2-3 frame. The shutout marked the fourth of the year for the Johnnies and the third at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
Robbie Knightes and Jamie Galazin, who are a combined 18-for-30 over their past four games, continued their hot play against the Wildcats. Knightes went 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs scored and the game-winning RBI, while Galazin put forth a 2-for-3 effort and scored once. As a testament to the team's depth, it should be noted that Knightes and Galazin hit eighth and ninth, respectively, in the Red Storm's lineup this afternoon.
Jesse Berardi bumped his team-leading RBI total to 46 on the season, driving home a pair with a single in the fifth. John Valente also recorded an RBI on the afternoon, lacing a run-scoring single in that same decisive frame.
Following four and a half scoreless frames that featured just one St. John's hit, the Red Storm broke trough in the home half of the fifth. Gui Gingras led off the action with a double down the right field line before a Josh Shaw foul pop and a Troy Dixon walk gave the Johnnies runners on first and second with one down. Next to the plate was Knightes, who delivered yet another clutch hit, singling to right and scoring Gingras for the first run of the contest. After a wild pitch scored Dixon and advanced Knightes to second, Galazin and Valente delivered back-to-back singles to bring home Knightes and make it 3-0 in favor of the Johnnies. With two outs in the frame and runners at second and third, Berardi sent a two-RBI base knock to left center, capping the five-run inning and giving the Red Storm a commanding lead heading into the sixth.
After both sides went scoreless in the sixth, the Red Storm delivered the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, as Knightes led off the inning with a triple to right center before scoring on a wild pitch in the next at-bat.
The Red Storm and the Wildcats return to action at Jack Kaiser Stadium tomorrow, facing off at 1 p.m. in the regular season finale for both teams.