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St. John’s men’s baseball season ends in regional round

Photo courtesy St. John's Athletics

The St. John’s Red Storm saw their season come to an end on Sunday when they lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 4-3, in the finals of the Stillwater Regional bracket of the NCAA Tournament at Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Red Storm finish the season with an overall record of 41-16 as the Stillwater Regional finalists, Big East Tournament champions and Big East regular season champions.

The game was a close contest throughout and Arkansas managed to score a run in the ninth inning to seal the victory and knock St. John’s out of the tournament.

It was a scoreless game heading into the fifth inning, when the Razorbacks grabbed the lead. They led off the inning with back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base. Arkansas’ catcher, Tucker Pennell, hit a sacrifice fly, bringing in one run, and left fielder, Joseph Serrano added an RBI single to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.

Arkansas increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth when Tyler Spoon launched a solo home run off Red Storm relief pitcher Shawn Heide.

St. John’s managed to get on the scoreboard with a two-run sixth inning. Center fielder Alex Caruso worked a leadoff walk and second baseman, Robert Wayman, reached base on a throwing error, but the ball soared into the dugout and Caruso was awarded home, while Wayman was given second. Michael Donadio then smacked an RBI single to right field, cutting the Razorbacks’ lead to 3-2.

The Red Storm led off the seventh inning with a single from Jarred Mederos. He quickly stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Robbie Knighties to tie the game at three runs apiece.

In the top of the ninth, Arkansas had runners on first and second before a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Serrano lined a one-out RBI single into left to give the Razorbacks a 4-3 lead.

Arkansas’ closer, Zach Johnson, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth for the save and the win.

Wayman, Knightes and first baseman Matt Harris were each named to the Stillwater Regional All-Tournament Team at their respective positions after St. John’s was eliminated from tournament play.

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