St. John's baseball - Big East Tournament and regular season champions last season - headed down to warmer Sarasota, Florida last weekend in hopes of kick starting their season in the right direction against three very good teams.
But the Red Storm came away with a disappointing weekend against two Atlantic Sun foes and a Big Ten squad, going went 0-4 in their four-game weekend as part of the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
In their first game against Florida Gulf Coast, the team managed only three hits and stranded six men on base leading to their 6-0 defeat to the Eagles.
In the second game, St. John's bats came alive to drive in five runs. But they were no match for the hot-hitting Mercer Bears team that shredded the ball for four home runs in route to their 13-5 win over the Red Storm.
Game three against Ohio State, was the first of the double-header for St. John's. The game featured freshman pitcher Ryan McCormick hurling 6 innings of shutout baseball before the bullpen surrendered three runs - one in the seventh and two in the eighth. McCormick struck out four Buckeye batters and gave up only two hits, but that wasn't enough. Ohio State took the game 3-1.
St. John's wrapped up its double-header in a rematch from Friday's game against Florida Golf Coast. This time, the Red Storm managed 4 hits but that wasn't enough as the Red Storm were shutout once more 4-0 concluding their weekend play.
Sean O'Hare and Danny Bethea both collected four hits in 13 at-bats. Martin Kelly, Jimmy Brennan, Zach Lauricella and Frank Schwindel collected 3 hits in the four games.
Schwindel was the top RBI producer, finishing with three, but his average was well below of what is expected at .176 for the weekend.
McCormick had a stellar outing as did James Lomangino who went 6 innings, striking out 3 batters and giving up 1 earned run.
St. John's will continue their play in a three-game series this weekend at No. 20 Georgia Tech (4-0).
The Yellow Jackets have been impressive in their first four games. The ACC team is outhitting their opponents 50-25, while also outscoring their opponents 34-11. Georgia Tech won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last season and reached the NCAA regional, losing to 1-seed Florida. Pitcher Buck Farmer is the reigning National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pitcher of the Week.
Projected Lineup versus St. John's:
(LF) Kyle Wren: .444 avg. (8-18) 5 R 2 RBI
(3B) Sam Dove: .353 avg. (6-17) 3 R 6 RBI
(CF) Brandon Thomas: .417 avg. (5-12) 4 R 2 RBI
(RF) Daniel Palks: .467 avg. (7-15) 1 HR 5 RBI
(C) Zane Evans: .125 avg. (2-16) 2 R 4 RBI
(1B) A.J. Murray: .538 avg. (7-13) 5 R 2 RBI
(SS) Mott Hyde: .200 avg. (3-15) 1 R 2 RBI
(2B) Matt Gonzalez*: .615 avg. (8-13) 1 HR 8 RBI
(P) Buck Farmer**: .000 avg (0-0)
*Freshman, 11th Rd. draft pick by Oakland A's in 2012.
** Projected Starter: 2013 stats - 8.0 IP 4 H 14 SO
The first game of the 3-game series is Friday at 4 p.m. You can catch all the action on ESPN3.