Hempstead, NY - Joe Panik went four-for-five with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs as the Red Storm erased a 7-3 deficit and went on to a 23-10 win over Hofstra Wednesday afternoon at University Field. Danny Poma
had three hits for the Pride.
St. John's, which is ranked 30th in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll, improves to 23-13 with its seventh consecutive victory. Hofstra falls to 11-23 with the loss.
Hofstra jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first with just one base hit as Red Storm starter walked or hit each of the first five batters in the inning to plate two runs and Jared Hammer delivered a two-run single to greet reliever Eddie Medina.
The Red Storm got a run in the second on a Pat Talbut RBI single and two in the third on Jeremy Baltz' sacrifice fly and Paul Karmas' single to make it a 4-3 game. But Hofstra extended to a 7-3 lead with three in the bottom of the third. Three straight singles loaded the bases before Joe Perez scored on a wild pitch. The Pride scored a second run on a fielder's choice and the third on Scott A'Hara 's RBI triple.
But St. John's scored four in the fourth to tie the game with two runs coming courtesy of Panik's double to left center. The Red Storm blew the game open with an eight-run fifth inning as the Pride used three pitchers in the frame. Rowan Wick started the inning off with a single off of losing pitcher Andrew Barbarino (1-1), who was replaced by Cody Normand . After two wild pitches sent Wick to third, Robert Case walked. Joe Witkowski attempted to bunt Case over, but the throw to first was wild for an error scoring Wick and put runners on second and third. Jimmy Brennan then singled home two runs and then came in on Panik's first home run of the game. The Red Storm would score a seventh run in the inning on an error and the eighth on Case's double to center to make it a 15-7 game.
The Red Storm scored two in the sixth on back-to-back home runs from Matt Wessinger and Panik to a 17-7 lead. Hofstra got an RBI single from Stephan Kungl and a two-run single from Bryan Verbitsky in the sixth to make it a 17-10 contest before St. John's pushed six runs across in the ninth.
Barbarino went 2/3 of an inning and gave up two hits and one run. In all, the Pride used 10 pitchers on the afternoon. Jared Rogers , who is working his way back from an injury, started and went a planned two innings. Cervone faced five batters in the first, but was bailed out by his offense. Sean Hagan (3-1) earned the win with 3 1/3 innings of relief, allowing seven hits and three runs.
Perez, Hammer and Matt Ford each had two hits for the Pride, who travel to Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend to face Georgia State in a CAA series.
Karmas had four hits for St. John's, while Talbut and Wessinger each had three. Talbut also had three RBIs.