Baseball splits Big East opening series

1B Gui Gingras had the go-ahead hit in the eight inning of Sunday's 5-4 win. (Photo: St. John's Athletic Communications).

1B Gui Gingras had the go-ahead hit in the eight inning of Sunday's 5-4 win. (Photo: St. John's Athletic Communications).

Brandon Mauk, Digital Sports Manager Emeritus

It was not the perfect opening to conference play, but St. John’s still pulled it off in the end. The reigning Big East baseball champions shook off an opening loss with a pair of late rallies as they took two out of three this weekend against Georgetown in the first conference series of the season.

After taking a 10-3 loss in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, the Red Storm rebounded the next two games, as they came back in the 7th in game two to win 13-10, and in the rubber game Sunday broke a tie in the 8th to win it.

“We don’t quit, we’re always fighting. It just takes one hit or something that goes well and then the whole game can turn around,” junior OF Michael Donadio said Friday.

On Friday, St. John’s was touched for seven runs in the 4th and 5th innings as Georgetown took the series opener, 10-3, after they had taken a 1-0 lead in the 1st.

In the second game Friday, St. John’s scored early and often, but it needed a late rally to prevent a sweep in the doubleheader. A five-run 7th inning rescued St. John’s from a second straight defeat in the series, as the Red Storm knocked off the Hoyas 13-10.

“The first game was tough, they came out with their heads on fire, jumped us a little bit,” said Troy Dixon, who went 4-for-4 with three RBI in Game 2. “But we battled back, fought hard and had a little more energy in the second game.”

The bottom of 7th inning needed to be aces for the Johnnies, especially after they squandered an opportunity in the 6th, as Jesse Berardi grounded into an inning-ending double play. Jamie Galazin tied the game with a two-run single, and Donadio sent a two- run triple the other way to give St. John’s a two-run lead.

St. John’s needed another late rally to take the series on Sunday. Despite St. John’s putting up 12 hits and getting out to an early 4-1 lead, the Hoyas tied the game going into the eighth thanks to four Red Storm errors.

With two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth, 1B Gui Gingras beat out an infield single, a tough play to the rightof the second baseman, to score the winning run. A game of inches.

“We had to hustle to get that win,” Gingras said. “We’re on our way.”

St. John’s bullpen was spectacular Sunday, as they held Georgetown hitless in the final five innings. Kevin Torres got the win with 3 1/3 scoreless innings after Georgetown tied it in the 5th. Thomas Hackimer, who got the win Friday, picked up his 4th save of the year in the 9th.

“It was a gritty win today,” St. John’s assistant coach Mike Hampton said. “We got one more run than they did, but it was a hard fought battle.”