The St. John’s baseball team opened the season on the road in Malibu, California against Pepperdine this weekend with a three-game series. St. John’s won the first game, but dropped next two and the series.
Runs proved costly for the Red Storm (1-2) as they only scored seven runs in the series.
“The offense will come around,” head coach Ed Blankmeyer said. “With the winter we’ve had we haven’t had enough opportunities to get outside for live at-bats and we faced three very good starters, too, but we just need to get some more at-bats to get into the groove.”
St. John’s defensively did not fare much better with seven-errors combined in the last two games.
“Errors are going to happen and that’s just baseball,” Blankmeyer said. “The errors weren’t due to lack of concentration or from trying to force something that wasn’t there and I think we were caught out of position a couple of times”.
James Lomangino (1-0) led the way with strong pitching to take the first-game of the year as the Johnnies won the pitcher’s duel 2-0.
“The pitching was very good in the opener,” Coach Blankmeyer said. “The game plan was to establish the strike zone early and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Zach Lauricella went 1-4 in the opener with an RBI double, while the bullpen combined for four scoreless innings to preserve the win.
Starter Joey Graziano took the loss in the 8-4 affair. Pepperdine’s bats came alive in a five-run first inning to set the tone as the Waves tied the series at 1-1. Zach Lauricella Jr. went 1-for-2 with a three-run home run and two runs scored to lead St. John’s. Aaron Brown and Brad Anderson each went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s to pace Pepperdine
The story of the game was starter Jackson McClelland (1-0) surrendered just one run and three hits in seven-innings of work.
In the rubber match of the series, errors were the theme for the Johnnies in their 11-1 loss.
“They are plays that have to be made,” Blankmeyer said.
St. John’s errors led to a four-run rally in the fifth inning that proved too much for the Johnnies to over come. Starter Andy Katz (0-1) pitched 3.2 innings of work allowing two runs and five strikeouts. The Waves broke it open sending nine players to bat and plated four runs, three unearned, to take a 6-1 lead in the fifth.
The Johnnies will try to bounce back as they hit the road against Old Dominion Feb. 21.