May 23, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Sparked by a seven-run first inning in which six runs were scored before the first out was made and paced by five players that finished with two-hit games, No. 2 St. John's downed No. 7 Notre Dame, 12-2, in a game that was shortened to seven innings. Danny Bethea finished 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Kyle Richardson was 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead St. John's (34-21). Zach Lauricella added two RBI, while Frank Schwindel and Jeremy Baltz were both 2-for-4 with an RBI. Matt Carasiti (5-5) had four strikeouts and allowed two runs in 6.0 innings of work for the win. Trey Mancini finished 3-for-4 for Notre Dame (29-26), while Pat Connaughton (4-4) took the loss after allowing seven runs without recording an out.
The first eight batters reached base before the first out was made, including five-consecutive hits to open the frame, as St. John's chased Connaughton as part of a seven-run first inning. A Richardson single started things before a wild pitch and a Jimmy Brennan RBI double inside the third base bag gave the Red Storm a quick 1-0 lead. Matt Wessinger followed with a single to set up runners on the corners before Schwindel and Baltz followed with back-to-back RBI singles as the Red Storm went up 3-0. Sean O'Hare was then plunked to load the bases before Lauricella drew a walk to force in a run. Bethea followed with a two-run double into the right field corner to make it 6-0 and Notre Dame went to the bullpen with runners on second and third and no outs. Releiver Donnie Hissa entered and retired the first batter he faced before Richardson lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to five St. John's the 7-0 advantage.
Notre Dame, however, responded with a pair of runs in the second inning after Mancini set the table with a leadoff single. A one-out single by Alex Robinson set up runners on the corners before a Charlie Markson sacrifice fly put the Irish on the board. Mac Hudgins followed with an RBI single into left field and Notre Dame pulled to within 7-2.
St. John's used a two-out rally to get a run back in the bottom of the second. Hissa retired the first two batters before Baltz reached on an infield single and took second on an errant throw. O'Hare then made it an 8-2 game with an RBI double to the wall in right center.
The Red Storm added four runs in the fourth after Wessinger and Schwindel set the table with back-to-back singles to leadoff the inning. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, O'Hare was plunked to load the bases before Lauricella walked to force in a run and make it a 9-2 game. Bethea followed with a sacrifice fly before a Dennis RBI single made it 11-2 and Notre Dame went back to the bullpen. Richardson promptly greeted Matt Ternowchek with an RBI single and the Red Storm led 12-2.
Carasiti, meanwhile, retired 13 of the next 18 batters before a leadoff walk in the seventh sent the Red Storm to the bullpen. James Lomangino struck out the first two batters he faced before inducing a groundout to end the game.
St. John's returns to action in the BIG EAST Championship against Seton Hall at 1 p.m. on May 24.