The St. John's baseball team headed into last week with their temperature on the rise, winning 6 of their last 8 contests.
The Johnnies were set to begin a stretch that featured 5 games in 8 days with a mid-week bout against Wagner but the game was postponed due to rain. The Red Storm picked things up on Thursday as they began Big East play with a 3-game set in Indianapolis against Butler.
Recap: St. John's at Butler (swept series 3-0)
In the first game of the series the Johnnies used a ninth-inning rally to come from behind and win the opener over the Bulldogs, 7-5.
Pitcher Cody Stashak didn't have his best stuff with him but was able to keep the game winnable for the Red Storm as he tossed 6.0 innings, allowing 4 runs and striking out 7 along the way. Sophomore third baseman Robbie Knightes led the way for St. John's on offense as he went 2-for-5 and drove in 3 runs, including the decisive 2-run single in the 9th inning.
In the second game of the series the Johnnies took a 3-0 lead in the first and never looked back, as they took the game 6-4. Junior Ryan McCormick dazzled on the mound as he allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits over 7.0 strong innings, improving his record to 4-1 on the season. Robbie Knightes continued his hot hitting as he went 3-for-5 and drove in 2 as well.
St. John's was looking for the sweep on Saturday as they sent junior Alex Katz to the mound against the Bulldogs. Katz struggled as he surrendered 4 runs on 5 hits before being pulled in the third inning after setting down just six Butler batters. Thankfully for the Red Storm, the offense showed up and led the team to a 7-6 victory. The Red Storm was yet again powered by the bat of Robbie Knightes who turned in another game with multiple hits and RBIs (2-for-4, 2 RBIs).
For the series, Knightes went a combined 7-for-14 with 5 RBIs, raising his triple slash line on the season to an impressive .361/.451/.377.
vs LIU-Brooklyn (W)
St. John's continued play Tuesday with an afternoon match-up on the road against LIU Brooklyn. The Johnnies found themselves in an early 3-1 hole as starter Joey Christopher lasted just 2.2 innings before being lifted in favor of Katz. On the offensive side of things it was yet another strong performance for the lineup as they reached base 16 times and scored 6 runs to give the team a 6-3 win.
Sophomore Michael Donadino and senior Jarred Mederos combined to reach base 7 times and drove in 3 of the Red Storm's runs on the day.
St. John's has now won 4 straight and 10 of their last 12 as they head into an afternoon game against Columbia at Jack Kaiser Stadium. Columbia's record currently stands at 15-10 on the season, as the Lions have rallied off wins in 12 of their last 13 games. This game figures to be hotly contested as it features arguably the most complete teams in both the BIG EAST and Ivy League.
After their tilt with Columbia, St. John's will set it's sights on a home series this weekend against a familiar foe in Seton Hall. Similar to Columbia, the Pirates have righted the ship after early season struggles and stand at 15-10 following a stretch that has seen them win 14 of 16 and 8 straight.
With the same conference record (3-0) and nearly identical overall records, as St. John's is now 16-10 on the year, this will be a big early season match-up for both programs.
The Johnnies will look to continue their scorching play at 3:30 PM today against Columbia in Queens.