The first 22 games of the baseball season have been a testing experience for the St. John's Baseball team.
After losing 11 of their first 14 games on the road, the Red Storm came home for their first home stand of the year, and won four-straight against FDU, Holy Cross (2 games), and LIU Brooklyn before facing Pittsburgh for the team's first Big East series matchup.
Despite the Red Storm's roll, Pittsburgh swept the series, 3-0 and outscored St. John's 37-13.
St. John's took on Stony Brook at Citi Field on Tuesday, sporting new pinstripe uniforms and looking to restart their winning ways.
The Red Storm took a 1-0 after the first inning after a wild pitch brought home Martin Kelly who had doubled in his at-bat, which was followed by a Frank Schwindel single.
The game would continue 1-0 with neither team getting anything going offensively... until the fifth inning when Stony Brook drove in their first run of the game thanks to Austin Shives triple that brought in Michael Roehrig.
Once again, there would be a massive offensive slump from both teams that would continue all the way until the 12th inning where St. John's seemly pounded down a couple Red Bulls and found the energy to start driving in some runs -- a lot of them.
The Red Storm's first three batters got on base, Bret Dennis (walk), Pat Talbut (single), and Zach Lauricella (walk) before Martin was hit by a pitch which drove in the go-ahead run in Dennis. Schwindel delivered the dagger with a base-clearing double giving St. John's 5-1 lead.
Sean O'Hare followed with a double of his own, bringing Schwindel home from second to make it a 6-1 lead.
After a wild pitch, that moved O'Hare to third, and a Danny Bethea ground out, Kyle Lombardo doubled down the left field line, scoring O'Hare and giving the final score of 7-1.
Stony Brook went down without a fight in the bottom of the 12th inning, securing the win for the Red Storm.
Next up for St. John's is Cincinnati Thursday, and a double-header Saturday.
The Bearcats hold a similar record as St. John's, 8-13 and are 0-6 on the road which is a great thing for St. John's who are looking to make up their three losses in the Big East to the Panthers.
Projected Starting Lineup for Cincinnati
Forrest Perron (2B): .225 average, 12 R, 9 RBI
Matt Williams (RF): .216 average, 6 R, 5 RBI
Justin Glass (LF): .349 average, 17 R, 2 HR, 18 RBI
Devin Wenzel (3B): .293 average, 15 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI
Brendon Neel (DH): 274 average, 10 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Ian Happ (1B): .297 average, 16 R, 1 HR, 9 RBI
Taylor Schmidt (CF): .143 average, 3 R, 4 RBI
Woody Wallace (C): .308 average, 8 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI
The 3-4-5 for Cincinnati will be a real test for the young pitching staff of St. John's. Glass, Wenzel and Neel combine for six home runs and 44 RBI's.
The pitching staff combines for a 4.62 ERA with Connor Walsh (27.2 IP, 1 W, 22 K's, 3.58 ERA) and Christian McElroy (23.2 IP, 2 W, 3 L, 19 K's, 5.32 ERA) carrying the load.
Junior Frank Schwindel will be a huge factor for St. John's moving on this season. In 22 games, all starts, Schwindel is hitting .385 with two home runs and 26 RBI.
Martin Kelly has also been through the first part of the season batting .321 with 15 runs scored and 11 RBI.
St. John's has shown they can capitalize against similar, or weaker, opponents so they must do the same against the Bearcats if they don't want to start conference play the way they started the season -- downhill.