Baseball has returned to St. John's - or at least to the St. John's schedule - as Ed Blankmeyer's team notched a 2-0 victory of the Pepperdine Waves in Malibu, California.
Senior James Lomangino notched five innings in the taut affair in the start, but reliever Joey Christopher earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
A leadoff single in the seventh inning by freshman left fielder Michael Donadio started the inning that gave the Johnnies the lead. An error on a sacrifice bunt by junior third baseman Zach Lauricella advanced Donadio to third, and he was brought home by newcomer Jarred Mederos, a shortstop transfer from the junior college ranks (Santa Fe College).
Lauricella had an RBI double in the ninth to pad the lead.
Sophomore Thomas Hackimer, who had eight saves last season as a freshman, earned a save despite hitting a batter and allowing a single.
Red Storm baseball again fields a youthful squad with two seniors, a number of junior college transfers, and eight freshmen. But the sophomore class of pitchers took the knocks on the diamond last year and returns having pitched 60% of the team's innings last year. Both Joey Christopher and Hackimer were among that group last season.
That squad went 23-35 last year, but is picked to finish third in Big East preseason voting. Lomangino - who was drafted by Oakland in the 14th round last year but opted to return to St. John's - and Lauricella are preseason All-Big East players.
- St. John's at Seton Hall final: Red Storm sneak out of Newark with a 68-67 win
- Game Preview vs. Seton Hall
- Late to gel: maybe Steve Lavin was right about St. John's coming together in February
- St John's on wrong side of the bubble, but inching closer
- Mid-morning coffee: St. John's vs Creighton media recap