St. John’s splits with Creighton, remain tied atop Big East

Johnnies open six game homestand starting with Marist and Manhattan


Photo: Diana Colapietro/Torch Photo Editor

Ryan McCormick had a dominant performance Saturday afternoon throwing 7.1 innings, giving up only one hit and an unearned run.

Brandon Mauk, Digital Sports Manager

St. John’s needed a shutdown start after falling behind 1-0 in the biggest series of the season, as well as the biggest game of the season, on the road against Creighton on Saturday. Ryan McCormick provided that shutdown and more.

McCormick pitched 7.1 innings and allowed just one unearned run, while striking out eight. McCormick Teamed up with Thomas Hackimer (1.2 IP) to pitch a one-hitter against Creighton in a 4-1 victory. The win tied the Red Storm (21-13, 6-2) with the Blue Jays for first place in the Big East at 6-2.

“You need at least one of your guys to go seven plus, really because it puts too much pressure on your relief staff if you got to go three days in a row,” head coach Ed Blankmeyer said. “When you have a guy in the middle that can really carry you, it gives them a breather. That’s what [McCormick] does for us.”

Coming into the game, McCormick’s ERA sat at 4.57, but his performance lowered it down to 3.91. His record now sits at 6-1 and he leads the Big East in wins.

This came after St. John’s dropped the first game of this rain-shortened series.

The Johnnies lost the first game on Friday 6-0, as freshman Rollie Lacy pitched a four-hit, complete game shutout for the Blue Jays. Cody Stashak gave up five runs after pitching into the sixth inning.

On Saturday, Creighton jumped out 1-0 in the second inning following a throwing error by catcher Tyler Sanchez and an RBI single by Creighton’s Harrison Crawford. McCormick settled down as he retired 17 straight batters after the error.

“[He had] very good fastball command, good command of all three pitches,” coach Blankmeyer said. “Just an outstanding performance by Ryan.”

St. John’s rallied in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Troy Dixon and an RBI double by Jarred Mederos. Alex Caruso extended the lead in the seventh on an RBI single and Matt Harris doubled in another in the eighth.

Thomas Hackimer relieved McCormick with one on and one out in the eighth and retired all five batters he faced to finish off the one-hitter. His five-out save was the seventh of his breakout season, leading the Big East.

“I try to go out as long as I can every single game, especially when you have Hack, Tom Hackimer in the bullpen,” McCormick said. “He can come in at any inning and pretty much shut the game down. So, that was good for us.”

The series finale was canceled due to rain in Omaha, so St. John’s and Creighton remain tied for first in the conference. The Red Storm will return to Jack Kaiser Stadium for the next six games where they will host Iona, Marist, Manhattan,  and a three-game conference series against Villanova.