The St. John's Red Storm has been on a tear in recent weeks. The Johnnies have been playing great baseball for a while now and are battling for the top spot in the Big East Conference.
Over the past 2 weeks, St. John's has posted a 5-2 record to move to 25-14 on the year and 8-3 in conference play; tied with Creighton for the best record in the conference.
Recap: St. John's at Creighton
On April 17th the Red Storm began a two-game set against a powerhouse Creighton team in Nebraska. The Johnnies entered the series tied with the Blue Jays atop the Big East with identical 5-1 records.
The first game of the series was not too kind to the Red Storm as they were shut out by Creighton and ultimately lost the opener, 6-0.
St. John's managed to scrape across just 4 hits for the day and no player collected multiple hits individually. Right-hander Cody Stashak arguably had the worst outing of his Division I career as he gave up 5 earned runs in just 5 innings.
In the second game, the Red Storm put together a much better all-around game and earned the victory, 4-1.
The Johnnies had a much better pitching display, this time with Ryan McCormick on the mound for the start. McCormick went 7.1 innings, allowing one unearned run on just one hit. Junior Thomas Hackimer came in for 2.1 innings of relief and was able to complete the 1-hitter as he sat down all 5 batters who he faced on the day.
The offense was led by Junior Zach Lauricella and 3B Robbie Knightes. Lauricella reached base safely in 4 out of his 5 plate appearances as he helped set the table for St. John's. Knightes was the only player on either team to record multiple hits on the day as he was an important bat for the Red Storm.
Recap: vs. Marist
St. John's met up with local rival Marist for a Tuesday afternoon game at Jack Kaiser Stadium on April 21st. Marist proved to be a formidable opponent and the Johnnies needed a late inning rally to take the game, 5-4.
OF Alex Caruso came up big going 2-for-3 with an RBI on the day, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. On the mound St. John's used 5 different pitchers, who combined to allow just 1 earned run on the day, proving that they were better than the final score would suggest.
Recap: vs. Villanova
The Johnnies squared off against Villanova for a weekend series in Queens as they looked to improve their conference record.
In the first game of the series, junior Cody Stashak returned to form on the mound and led the Red Storm to a 7-3 win. The JUCO transfer tossed 6.1 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and earning his 6th victory of the season.
On offense, junior Alex Caruso came up big yet again, this time turning in a 4-for-5 performance while picking up 2 RBIs along the way.
The offense shined in the second game, as the team hit its way to a 10-7 victory. 2B Robert Wayman pinch hit and launched his first career home run, a three-run shot. For the day, Wayman went 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs and a walk.
McCormick was on the mound again for the Red Storm and gave them 5.2 solid innings, giving up just 2 runs and collecting six strikeouts.
In the last game of the series St. John's fell just short despite a ninth inning rally, losing by a final score of 7-6.
Sophomore Troy Dixon hit a pinch-hit home run as part of the 3-run ninth inning that nearly tied the game for the Johnnies.
On the mound, the Red Storm used 8 different pitchers who combined to give up 7 runs, only 4 of which were earned.
Recap: vs. Iona
On Wednesday St. John's played in yet another close game when they edged out area rival Iona, 5-4.
After allowing 4 runs in their first 6.2 innings of work, the Red Storm pitching staff settled down and did not allow a run for the remainder of the game.
The story of the day though was freshman Anthony Brocato, the outfielder gave St. John's the win with his walk-off sac fly in the ninth. On the day, Brocato went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. 3B Robbie Knightes aided the Red Storm's offense with his 2-for-5 performance that included an RBI single in the ninth.
St. John's will kickoff a three-game set against Georgetown in Maryland this weekend.
Georgetown enters the game sitting at 4th place in the Big East with a conference record of 5-4. Their season record is 22-19, showing that the team can compete but hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire with their performance.
Georgetown has won 6 of their past 8 contests and will be looking to improve their conference standing while continuing to improve their win-loss record for the year.
The series will get its start tonight at 7:00pm at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, MD.