A five run seventh inning sealed the game for Columbia as they went on to defeat the St. John’s baseball team 9-6.
“We just played bad all day and it starts with me,” head coach Ed Blankmeyer said. “I ran us out of an inning or two.”
Blankmeyer was refering to poor decision on the basepaths. Outfielders Martin Kelly and Kyle Richardson were consecutively thrown out on attempts to steal second in the fourth – adding to the Johnnies’ base running woes on the day.
“Back-to-back on a pitch that was slow to the plate, but a catcher that got very good releases and he got good pitches to throw out,” Blankmeyer said. “I did the number and it was my call and I was wrong.”
The head coach was later ejected – capping off the dramatic seventh – after arguing an obstruction call on a throw to
first base after a bunt by Columbia freshman Jordan Serena with the Lions leading 6-4.
After he departed, Columbia sophomore Aaron Silbar doubled in two runs and catcher Mike Fischer tripled in another to cap off the inning.
The Johnnies (18-14, 6-4) had shots at a rally in the bottom eighth and ninth innings, but only produced two runs in the eighth.
In total, the Red Storm left nine players stranded.
Blankmeyer said the team played poorly overall, mainly blaming himself for the team’s errors.“We left runners stranded,” he said. “We didn’t get the big knock. That’s baseball. We’re just not consistent it’s just the bottom line.”
Shortstop Matt Wessinger drove in a run during the eighth inning rally before being thrown out at second. Wessinger had three hits on the day.
Columbia righty David Spinosa walked Kelly and then Richardson in the eighth. Kelly scored on Wessinger’s single while Richardson was thrown out on a charge to second.
Werniuk had started the inning and gave up two runs to Columbia, before being replaced by Stephen Rivera. Rivera
gave up three runs, only charged with two after an error at first base.
Relief pitcher Brad Bellinger closed out the game for St. John’s, striking out four without allowing a hit.
Eddie Medina pitched into the sixth, giving up four runs off of nine hits. Blankmeyer said Medina didn’t play up to par,
but complimented his performance.
“I thought Eddie wasn’t good today but he battled,” Blankmeyer said. “I just thought he didn’t throw well. It’s just one of those days I guess I just don’t know.”
St. John’s next plays against Hofstra on April 11 at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
Blankmeyer said the team is still looking to find it’s groove and will perform well in time. “We’re still struggling to find ourself,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential here.”