Despite the cooler temperatures this past week, the St. John's baseball team is still hot. The Red Storm has won seven straight games, with the smallest margin of victory within that span being 4 runs.
Let's break down what we learned from the wins this weekend:
There is parity in the Red Storm's lineup.
The Johnnies are batting .277 as a team and five players are batting at least .300 or higher. In the Friday game against NYIT, senior outfielder Alex Caruso and junior first basemen Gui Gingras had four RBI apiece. Sophomore Jamie Gallatin homered and had two RBI and freshman Josh Shaw also homered. The team complied 16 hits and 15 RBIs in the game.
The returning starting pitchers are filling the void left by 2015 draftees.
After a record-tying six St. John's players were taken in the 2015 MLB Draft including pitchers Cody Stashak (Minnesota Twins), Matt Clancy (Seattle Mariners), Ryan McCormick (Colorado Rockies) and Alex Katz (Chicago White Sox). Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer voiced that returning starting pitchers would be given opportunities this season. In Saturday's game, junior right-hander Ryan McAuliffe (3-0) tossed 6.0 innings of one-run ball and racked up six strikeouts. The Red Storm has used 18 different pitchers, including nine that have made their Division I debuts this season. Those nine pitchers have combined to toss 53.7 percent of the innings pitched this season (113.2-of-211.2). The Johnnies' pitching staff has a 4.76 ERA this season with 170 strikeouts.
April 3 - The Sunday afternoon series finale between St. John's and NYIT was cancelled due to weather concerns.
We learned that Mother Nature clearly isn't aware that it's baseball season.
April 6 - St. John's (12-9-1) versus Ivy League foe Columbia University (7-15)
3:30 p.m. New York, N.Y. (Robertson Field at Satow Stadium)
The Lions are coming off a 2-2 weekend, dropping two games to Yale before sweeping Brown, to kick off Ivy League play. The Red Storm lead the series 27-11, but Columbia has won the last four meetings. Last year, Columbia held off St. John's, 5-4, in Queens.
Lion to look out for: Junior Will Savage bats .345 and leads the team in both runs scored (16) and stolen bases (8-for-11).
April 8 to April 10 - St. John's begins BIG EAST play as they host Georgetown (13-17) for a three-game home series
Georgetown has already experienced three 3 or more games losing streaks this season. They are coming off of dropping their last three, to William & Mary and Navy. It will be beneficial for the Johnnies to grab a lead early and hold onto it since the Hoyas are 1-12 after 5 innings trailing.
Hoyas to look out for: Sophomore outfielder Michael DeRenzi is batting .357 with a team-high 40 hits and 14 RBIs. Junior righty Simon Mathews is posting a 2.79 ERA and ranks second in strikeouts with 32.
Game times vary, Queens, N.Y. (Jack Kaiser Stadium)