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Red Storm Baseball sweeps UMass Lowell to open season

The Johnnies break out the brooms to sweep away the River Hawks.

Wendell Cruz

The St. John’s baseball team hit up the janitor’s closet for the first series, bringing out the brooms against UMass-Lowell. The sweep propelled the Johnnies to 3-0 after their first weekend action of the season having lost most of last season to the coronavirus pandemic.

The series, which is also the first time the team has opened in Queens to start the season in their history, went as follows:

Game 1: St. John’s 2, UM-Lowell 1 | W: Mondak (1-0) L: Duffley (0-1) S: Routzahn (1)

The Johnnies were able to put a single run on the board in each of the fourth and fifth innings to lock up the win in the season opener.

The first run came on a fielder's choice; C Mitchell Henshaw tapped a ball to 3rd base that scored OF David Glancy. The second run came an inning later on a Glancy single that scored C Ryan Hogan, who reached initially after being hit by a pitch. Offensively, Glancy and INF Justin Folz collected two hits each, adding up to the team total of four on the day.

On the mound, Nick Mondak got his first start of the season and pitched six innings of scoreless ball. He gave up two hits and a walk to his 7Ks. Sonny Fauci and Ethan Routzahn relieved Mondak; each pitched one inning and combined to give up an unearned run. Mondak picked up the win and Routzahn scored his first save of the year.

Game 2: St. John’s 11, UM-Lowell 2 | W: Murphy (1-0) L: Draper (0-1)

Game 2 of the series featured sublime pitching and hitting from the Johnnies as the scoreline suggests.

Ian Murphy started his first game of the year. Murphy dealt for six innings, giving up only a hit, a walk, and a hit batsman while striking out six and allowing no runs. Tyler Roche, Nick Guzzi, and Matt Semon each pitched an inning in relief to see the game to its end. The bullpen gave up two runs, three hits, and two walks while striking out infour over the three innings.

The Johnny bats got 12 hits from seven batters, led by RF Brandon Miller. Miller went 4/5 at the plate. In the 4th inning, David Glancy hit the first HR of the season to LF for St. John’s and Justin Folz followed up with the team’s second HR of the season, first inside the park. 1B Nick Cirelli later homered to RF in the 8th inning to join the party.

Game 3: St. John’s 3, UM-Lowell 1 | W: Mosseau (1-0) L: Becker (0-1) S: Routzahn (2)

The Johnnies calmly finished the sweep of the River Hawks — earlier than expected on Sunday, since rain moved the game up to 10 a.m. Offensively, Justin Folz and David Glancy rose to the challenge yet again, batting in all three St. John’s runs on the day.

Folz collected an RBI in the bottom of the first from an RBI double, while Glancy collected the other two RBI on his 2nd HR in as many games, a 5th inning homer to LF that also scored INF Carson Bartels. In total, the team combined for eight hits from eight hitters in the winning effort.

Brian Hendry started the game for the Johnnies and gave up four hits, two walks, an ER, and five strikeouts in his 4.2 inning effort. Geoff Mosseau got credit for the win for his 1.1 innings of relief allowing only 4 walks and no hits. Joe Joe Rodriguez and Ethan Routzahn each struck out two in their two and one innings respectively.

Looking to next week, the Johnnies host Sacred Heart for a game on Friday, March 5th; initially, the team was to play Stony Brook and Sacred Heart, but the schedule has changed.