Storm scores 24 runs against Lions

Despite a somewhat sluggish start to the season, St. John’s baseball took a major step in proving that they earned their designation as the preseason pick to win the Big East.

“It’s nice to play at home,” coach Ed Blankmeyer said.

The Red Storm routed city rival Columbia yesterday at Jack Kaiser Stadium, running the score up to 24-1 and getting offensive production throughout the lineup. After a scoreless frame in the first, the Red Storm struck in the second. Following a Brian Kemp walk with the bases already loaded, Chris Joachim came through with a base hit to right field to drive home another run. Sam Deluca lined a single to left to bring in the third run of the inning.

St. John’s exploded in the fifth, plating 10 runs on just five hits while taking advantage of wild pitching from Columbia reliever Matt Berninger, who allowed five walks in the inning as the Red Storm batted around.

Chris Joachim started the scoring for St. John’s on a throwing error after Sam Deluca moved him to third on a sacrifice fly.

After Gil Zayas got on via a walk, Anthony Smith hit his second homerun of the game. St. John’s got the next twelve consecutive batters on base before Columbia was finally able to stop the bleeding, getting Kevin Watkins and Tommy Wasilowski to strike out.

St. John’s added runs in the sixth and ninth innings and allowed Columbia to score its only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.

“It’s good for the guys to relax,” Blankmeyer said. “We got some guys an opportunity to play who haven’t played a lot.”

??Although the game was played on St. John’s campus, the Red Storm was technically the away team as a result of recent snow cancellations.

??St. John’s threatened to set a school record for runs scored against Columbia. The record is currently 28 runs, scored on March 25, 1998.