Blankmeyer and Co. keep ball rolling at Kaiser
St. John’s continued both its roll and home success in conference play this weekend as they swept a three game set against Georgetown. The Johnnies (27-14, 7-2) improved to 19-1 at Jack Kaiser Stadium and moved into a tie with Xavier for second place in the Big East conference.
“We approach every game the same,” first baseman Matt Harris said. “Just go out there and try to score runs as much as we can and play defense and win.”
Harris had seven RBI in the series as he went 8-for-15 at the plate. He’s now hitting .342 with a .924 OPS.
St. John’s outscored Georgetown (15-25, 1-11) by 19 runs in the three games, scoring a total of 34 runs on 44 hits. The Hoyas briefly held a lead twice in the series, but each one only lasted until the bottom of the same inning thanks to a relentless Red Storm offense.
“I think our guys have a pretty good feeling about themselves,” coach Ed Blankmeyer said. “We work the pitchers pretty good. Our kids see a lot of pitches. When you see a lot of pitches, with two outs and two strikes, you have a tendency to be successful. So, these guys are doing a pretty good job on that.”
Friday’s affair looked like an easy win, as RHP James Lomangino took a no-hitter to the seventh inning, but the Hoyas rallied for five in the inning for the lead. However, St. John’s immediately responded, as right fielder Zach Lauricella led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run to tie the game. They took the lead that inning on a sacrifice fly from Bret Dennis. The bullpen held on for a 7-6 victory.
“They took the lead there, and we wanted to answer right away,” Lauricella said. “He throws a lot of first pitch fastballs, so I was looking for a first pitch fastball and I got it and I didn’t miss. That was key for us, and then we got another key run there in that inning. Big answer for us.”
Lauricella swung a hot bat the entire series as he went 8-for-13 with eight runs batted in. He has raised his average to .262 after a slow start to the season.
The second and third games of the series were a breeze, as St. John’s scored early and often. The game was out of reach by the second inning in both games, allowing both Ryan McCormick and Chris Kalica to collect their sixth wins of the season.
“Coach preaches when we get two outs, just keep the chain moving,” center fielder Alex Caruso said. “Whoever gets on, just get that last out. Just keep it rolling.”
Overall, the offense carried the Red Storm to the sweep over the Hoyas, as the defense was shaky, committing nine errors the entire series.
“I thought offensively we swung the bats pretty good,” Blankmeyer said. “Our starting pitching was not great, but solid. I thought defensively, we didn’t play well, and if we play like this in certain frames of the game, it certainly can cost you.”