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St. John’s weekly baseball recap: a season sweep of Kansas

A win over Iona and three straight over Kansas gives the Red Storm a four-game winning streak.

Baseball - dugout Wendell Cruz

St. John’s baseball, now 7-9 after their regular west coast/ southern road trip during February and early March, are coming off of a very good week.

The Red Storm began the week’s slate of games with the last game of the 13 game road trip — the game at Iona — and then returned to Queens for the weekend to host their first series of the season against the Kansas Jayhawks, a three-game sweep.

How it went down...

March 13th: St. John’s vs. Iona

St. John’s 7, Iona 1 | WP: Semon (1-0) LP: DeSanti (0-2)

In a 7-1 demolition of Iona at City Park in New Rochelle, New York, the Red Storm showed their potential on both sides of the ball.

Outhitting the Gaels by 8-6, the Red Storm seized opportunities on offense and closed the doors on Iona when they were threatened on defense.

Freshman Ian Murphy got the start on the mound for the Storm and pitched 4 scoreless innings of baseball. He recorded five strikeouts to one walk. He was then replaced by fellow Freshman Matt Semon who pitched 2 relief innings and took the win, despite giving up Iona’s only run in the 5th inning.

At the dish, the Red Storm showed discipline by drawing 14 walks and striking out only four times. Right fielder Brandon Miller and SS/1B Ryan Hogan both led the Storm at the plate with a hit, two RBI, and four walks each.

Iona struggled in almost every facet of the game. The Gaels used nine pitchers. The Iona defense also committed two errors that led to an unearned run for the Johnnies. While leadoff 2B Brian Picone recorded three hits and a walk. That walk that led to Iona’s only run, a bases loaded HBP. The game looked lost in the fifth inning, after the Johnnies put up five runs.

March 15th-17th Series vs. Kansas University Jayhawks

Game 1: St. John’s 1, Kansas 0 (10 innings) | WP: Hollowell (1-0) LP: Goldsberry (2-2)

In a slower-paced game against the Big XII visitors in the Red Storm’s home opener in Queens, defense prevailed in a 1-0 win in 10 innings for the Johnnies.

Both offenses were well behind the stellar pitching provided by the Jayhawks and the Johnnies.

With both starters surpassing seven innings without a run allowed, the fate of the game turned to the bullpens.

With neither team scoring in the first nine innings, the game went into the 10th inning with both bullpens going in with a head of steam.

The Red Storm walked one and retired the side in the top of the tenth and began to threaten in the bottom of the frame. After an intentional walk to load the bases, a wild pitch let C Wyatt Mascarella score from third and walk the game off for the Johnnies.

Game 2: St. John’s 3, Kansas 1 | WP: LaSorsa (1-2) LP: Cyr (2-1)

Game 2 showed a lot more action from the start for both St. John’s and Kansas.

Pitcher Joe LaSorsa gave up a run in the top of the first inning but never looked back in his complete game effort. LaSorsa put the team on his back and struck out seven and allowed four hits. On the offensive side, RF Brandon Miller hit a solo home run in the 4th inning to highlight the Johnnies’ three runs.

Kansas also saw a complete game from their pitcher Ryan Cyr, who gave up only two earned runs and five strikeouts to no walks in a quality effort — but not enough to win this pitchers’ duel.

The Kansas effort was undone by the three errors committed by the defense. The errors led directly to one run and the advancement of several runners that changed the way the Jayhawks would play the game.

Game 3: St. John’s 11, Kansas 3 | WP: Belge (1-3) LP: Davis (2-2)

Riding their first winning streak of the season, the Johnnies rallied big time on their way to sweeping the Jayhawks.

The Johnnies beat the Jayhawks by a score of 11-3 in their most powerful offensive showing to date and assisted by sublime pitching.

The Johnnies managed to score in five of the eight innings where they stepped to the plate. Seven of the nine batting starters chipped in for the 15 hit total by the Johnnies, and eight players recorded either a run, RBI, or both.

Pitcher Jeff Belge pitched five innings with 1 ER and 8Ks to lead to his first victory on the season.

After the 6th inning, the bullpen pitched lights out, allowing two hits and recording six strikeouts, including 3 in a row to close out the game.

The Jayhawks had a hard time finding their rhythm, visible in their struggles to put the ball in play on offense and keep it out of play on defense.

All of Kansas’ three runs came off of five hits, and the Jayhawks never led.

Kansas sent six pitchers to the mound and struck out five, against 11 runs given up, all earned.

The Johnnies are riding their first win streak of the season that currently sits at four games and has brought their record up to 7-9 (and 4-0 in New York State).

The next week brings up Marist on March 19th to be played in Queens and then a 3-game series against Hofstra from the 22nd-24th, also played at home.