McCormick Tosses CG Two-Hitter As St. John's Defeats Creighton, 8-1|
May 23, 2015
OMAHA, Neb. - BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Ryan McCormick retired the final 19-straight batters to finish off a complete game two-hitter as St. John's advanced to the title game of the BIG EAST Championship with an 8-1 victory against Creighton. McCormick (10-1) allowed just two second-inning singles and racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts to earn the win. Alex Caruso finished 4-for-5 with three runs to help lead St. John's (38-14) to its 14th-straight win, matching the program's longest streak since 1981. Zach Lauricella went 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Red Storm, while Michael Donadio (one RBI), Matt Harris (two RBI) and Jarred Mederos (one RBI) added two hits apiece as part of a 14-hit effort for the Red Storm offense.
Harrison Crawford and Brett Murray had the lone hits for Creighton (31-18), while Rollie Lacy (6-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on nine hits in 6.0 innings of work.
After McCormick picked up two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first, St. John's sent seven men to the plate as part of a two-run bottom of the frame. Caruso started things off with a leadoff single through the right side before moving to second on a Robert Wayman sacrifice bunt. Donadio then reached on a dropped third strike as Caruso took third before Lauricella grounded an RBI single through the left side. Harris followed with an RBI single into right center and the Red Storm quickly led 2-0.
Creighton answered immediately with a run in the second. Crawford set the table with a one-out single before a Murray single set up runners on the corners. Matt Gandy then made it a 2-1 ballgame with a sacrifice fly deep into the right field corner, but Murray was doubled off at first on the play to end the inning.
St. John's used a leadoff single to manufacture a run in the bottom of the third. Wayman beat out an infield single to lead off the frame before advancing to second on a Donadio sacrifice bunt. Harris then grounded an RBI single up the middle to give the Red Storm a 3-1 lead.
McCormick worked 1-2-3 frames in the fourth and fifth before St. John's took advantage of a leadoff single to add a run in the bottom of the fifth. Caruso reached on a leadoff bunt single before Donadio singled into right field with one out to set up runners on the corners. Lauricella then gave the Red Storm a 4-1 advantage with a sacrifice fly into right field.
McCormick, meanwhile, tossed another 1-2-3 frame in the sixth and added a 1-2-3 seventh to retire 13-straight.
St. John's then sent seven men to the plate as part of a three-run seventh frame. Caruso set the table once again with his third leadoff single of the game before moving to second on a Wayman sacrifice bunt. Donadio followed with an RBI double inside the left field line before Lauricella grounded an RBI single up the middle. Mederos then made it a 7-1 ballgame with a two-out RBI single into right field.
After McCormick worked a 1-2-3 eighth to extend his streak to 16-straight batters retired, the Red Storm added to its lead with a run in the bottom of the frame. Pinch hitter Anthony Brocato started things with a one-out walk before Caruso singled to set up runners on first and third. Jesse Beradi followed with an RBI sacrifice bunt and St. John's led 8-1.
McCormick struck out the first two batters in the ninth before inducing a game-ending groundout to finish a complete game two-hitter by retiring the final 19 batters.
St. John's advances to the title game of the BIG EAST Championship on May 24 at 2 p.m. (ET) on FOX Sports 2. The Red Storm will face the winner of the No. 2 Creighton/No. 3 Seton Hall game on May 23.