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Johnnies hope to bounce back against Seton Hall on the diamond

St. John’s dropped 3 of 4 to Georgetown last weekend as they continue to lose ground in the conference.

Jared + Alexis Hofker

St. John’s baseball worked to get over the hump last weekend. But last weekend’s effort in a 4-game series hosted by Georgetown failed to get the Johnnies above .500 in conference play as the Red Storm went 1-3 against the Hoyas at their home field in Frederick, Maryland. Though INF Justin Folz was out yet another series, David Glancy got his return to the diamond in a limited capacity with a DH role.

Looking forward to tonight, the Johnnies will host the Seton Hall Pirates for a 4-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday. Last week’s lost series dropped St. John’s to 11-10 overall and 2-5 in Big East play this season, meaning the team needs a sweep to enter next week above .500 in the conference or at least a 2-2 split to stay afloat overall.

A successful series isn’t out of reach as St. John’s leads the all-time series 38-28 against Seton Hall and have won the last four against the Pirates.

Sitting near .500 for the year, the Johnnies look to improve all aspects of the game to get beyond the hump. Although the team is batting eight points higher than opponents (.241 to .233), the Johnnies are getting outscored by a half run per game and have lost six games by 4+ and three by 9+.

Recapping last weekend

Game 1: St John’s 1, Georgetown 5 | W: Tonas (1-1) L: Mondak (3-2) S: Redfern (1)

Offensive successes for the Johnnies were few and far between during the series opener on Friday. Friday marked the first win of the season for the Hoyas, who entered the match 0-4, and had been shut out in three of those losses (against UConn and Towson).

The Johnnies went down in 1-2-3 innings in five of the first six frames. CF Brandon Miller provided both hits for the Johnnies, a single in the 5th inning and RBI double in the 9th. 1B David Williams reached on two walks and a hit-by-pitch. DH David Glancy collected a walk and a run in the 9th inning in his return from injury.

For the Johnnies on defense, Nick Mondak got the start and collected his 2nd loss of the year in a decent outing. Mondak allowed only five hits and two runs in his five inning start while striking out five. Mondak’s effort would usually yield a win for the redshirt Junior, but he was not able to overcome the lack of run support.

Matt Semon and Tim Cunningham (in that order) relieved Mondak with Semon posting a one hit, one walk, three strikeout inning that yielded three runs for the Hoyas off of a pair Red Storm errors. Cunningham’s two inning outing was perfect aside from a hit conceded each inning.

The Johnnies fell victim to great pitch control from the Hoyas and a potent enough offense to score some runs. Three Georgetown pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts, and induced seven flyouts and seven groundouts — including a double play that took off the only St. John’s baserunner in the first half of the game.

Game 2: St. John’s 9, Georgetown 4 | W: Routzahn (1-0) L: Weeks (0-2)

St. John’s rebounded off of Friday’s loss with a rally to win Saturday’s opener in the 7th (of 7) inning. The Johnnies scored first in the 2nd when Brandon Miller grounded out, scoring Marty Higgins, who had reached on a double to lead off the inning. After falling behind in the bottom of the 2nd, the Johnnies rebounded with yet another scoring inning with a trio of runs in the top of the 3rd, all on a double from Carson Bartels.

After a Hoya run tied the game at 4-4, the Johnnies came through in the final inning with five runs on three hits, two walks, and two Hoya errors. Over the game, Ryan Hogan led the team with two hits, but was 2nd in RBI with two, behind four from Carson Bartels.

Defensively, the Johnnies did just enough to stay afloat and win with some luck in the 7th inning. Ian Murphy went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. Murphy recorded five strikeouts, all of which came between the 2nd and 4th innings. Ethan Routzahn relieved Murphy and finished the game with a pair of innings of no-hit, 2-walk ball.

Game 3: St. John’s 7, Georgetown 11 | W: Gnazzo (1-0) L: Mosseau (1-1)

The Johnnies wrapped up the Saturday doubleheader with a high-scoring loss in Frederick.

Like the earlier match, the Johnnies were able to score first, but they only held onto the lead for a half-inning. The Red Storm collected six hits, nine walks, and endured three hit batters to reach their 18 total baserunners.

Six different Johnnies each recorded a hit but DH Brian Morrell and C Mitchell Henshaw, batting 4th and 5th respectively, got two hits, five walks, and three runs scored combined. 3B Carson Bartels contributed with a 3-run home run in the 6th inning, the first home run hit by the Johnnies since March 19th against Fordham.

Brian Hendry got the nod for the second game of the day and Hendry pitched up to expectations. Hendry gave up five hits and two ER (four total runs) in his four innings on the mound. Hendry led the team in walks issued on the day with four and was 2nd with 3 strikeouts.

Brandyn Cruz relieved Hendry with .2 innings and Nick Guzzi followed with 2.1 innings to finish the 7th inning. The first duo of relievers struck out six (five punchouts from Guzzi), seven walks, and three earned runs. Geoff Mosseau, who was handed the loss for the game, recorded no outs but was charged with two ER in his time on the mound. Josh Lajoie wrapped the game up for St. John’s with an inning recording a hit, walk, run, and a strikeout.

Game 4: St. John’s 4, Georgetown 6 | W: Lamon (1-0) L: Rodriguez (1-1) Grzebinski (1)

For the third straight game, the Johnnies scored first, but this time the Hoyas were able to rally in the end for a win. The Johnnies collected seven hits from six batters and were led by 1B Justin Folz who went 2-4 with a 2-run home run and scored two runs as well. For the first time all season the Johnnies hit multiple home runs in a game, and the second came off the bat of 2B Carson Bartels, whose second homer in as many days was a solo shot to left.

Tyler Roche took the mound to try and tie the series for the Johnnies. Roche gave up only four hits and left the game with his team up 4-1.

Roche was relieved by Matt Semon who recorded all three outs in the 6th giving up only a single and allowing an inherited baserunner to score. Semon recorded an out in the 7th before he was pulled with the bases loaded for Joe Joe Rodriguez. Rodriguez allowed all three inherited runners and one of his own to score before ending the inning.

The Hoyas comeback was mounted more on grit than luck, although they were the beneficiary of two errors in the 7th. A Georgetown pitching staff that struck out nine Johnnies and only walked one all game kept the game in hand and aggressive baserunning throughout the game allowed the hosts to keep the visiting Johnnies on edge for most of the game.