The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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St. John’s Ends Losing Streak, Wins Weekend Series 2-1

Offensive explosions and heroics were the formula for the win over Butler.
Torch Photo / James Williams

The St. John’s Baseball team beat the Butler Bulldogs in a three-game weekend series at Jack Kaiser Stadium from April 19 to April 21. The Johnnies won games one and two, deciding the series before the third game while improving their record to 25-9-1 and 6-3 against Big East opponents.

Starting for St. John’s in Friday night’s game was sophomore pitcher Kyle Chase, who entered the contest with a 6.14 ERA in four appearances. Despite early opportunities for the Johnnies, it was a pitcher’s duel through the first three innings, as both teams were left scoreless at the end of the third with four hits and no errors each.

Both offenses had no answers until Red Storm senior outfielder Garrett Scavelli broke the tie with an RBI triple to deep right field in the sixth. The bats woke up as an additional five runs scored in this inning. 

This offensive onslaught gave the Red Storm a 6-0 lead after six innings, with the Johnnies having 10 hits and no errors. The Bulldogs had four hits and one error.

The final score ended up 7-1 with the Johnnies taking game one of the series on a cold and rainy Friday night. The Red Storm had 13 hits with no errors, while Butler had seven hits and one error. Chase earned his first win of the season. 

In hopes of clinching the series on Saturday afternoon, head coach Mike Hampton deployed redshirt freshman Evan Chaffee. Making his seventh start of the season, Chaffee entered with a 5.51 era on the season. 

Chaffee ran into trouble early as Butler exploded for a four-run first inning, three of these runs scoring off of a three-run home run belted over the left field fence by Butler outfielder Ryan Drumm.

After three innings, the Bulldogs led 4-0 with seven base hits, no errors and the Johnnies mustered two hits, no errors. 

The Johnnies offense finally delivered in the fourth inning as freshman two-way player Chad Falcon drove home their first run of the afternoon with an RBI base hit. Redshirt senior infielder Anthony Brienza followed up with a timely sacrifice bunt that scored the second run of the inning. 

At the end of six innings, Butler was still on top 4-2 with nine hits and one error, while the Johnnies scored their two runs off of six hits and no errors.

A dropped routine popout in the seventh inning allowed St. John’s back in the game with one run scored off of the error. Their two-out rally continued to flourish as graduate student first baseman Marty Higgins came through with late-game heroics, bringing the tying and go-ahead run home with a crucial two-RBI single to give the Johnnies a 5-4 lead.

An RBI triple to right field for junior outfielder Jackson Tucker, a sacrifice fly for Beauchamp and another Brienza RBI gave the Red Storm much-needed insurance in the eighth inning to extend their lead to 8-4.

Tucker got on base four times on Saturday, extending his on-base streak to a staggering 23 games. Tucker spoke to The Torch about the team’s focus regarding their impressive offensive statistics this season. 

“I think our success has really come from being unselfish, not everybody really cares,” he said.“We don’t really look at the stats, we don’t care about that, we just care about W’s. 

“Whatever we gotta do to get the job done in that at-bat, in that moment, we’re doing it,” Tucker continued.”

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the ninth inning cutting the Johnnies lead to just one run. Despite this last-second scare, St. John’s held on to win a dramatic second game of the series.

The final score ended at 8-7 with the Johnnies collecting 10 hits, no errors and Butler’s 12 hits were not enough to win. Sophomore pitcher A.J. Lausten got a deserved first win of the season after 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

In the third and final game of the series, Butler took a 3-2 lead in the third inning and didn’t look back, ultimately winning 8-4. The Bulldogs had 11 hits and no errors, and the Johnnies had five hits, and three errors.

Sophomore pitcher Mario Pesca was given his first loss in the contest.

The team leaves Jack Kaiser Stadium to travel to New Brunswick, N.J. in a matchup with Rutgers on Tuesday, April 23.

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About the Contributor
James Williams
James Williams, Asst. Sports Editor
James is a sophomore journalism student serving his first year as Assistant Sports Editor. Outside of writing for The Torch, James can be found rooting for every Philadelphia sports team, watching a wide variety of shows and movies or listening to his favorite artists Beach House and Bob Dylan while on runs. James can be reached at [email protected]
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