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St. John's tops Stony Brook in 12 innings at Citi Field

St. John's Mike Sheppard III throws a pitch

St. John's Mike Sheppard III throws a pitch for the Storm against Stony Brook. (March 26, 2013) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

With the teams' bats as cold as their big-league setting, the score tied in extra innings and St. John's running low on eligible pitchers, the Red Storm needed a big hit . . . on the double!

St. John's erupted for six runs -- five of which came via RBI doubles -- in the 12th inning to beat Stony Brook, 7-1, Tuesday in a non-conference game at Citi Field.

The teams had been tied at 1 since the fifth inning. But with the bases loaded and none out, Kelly Martin was hit by a pitch to force in Bret Dennis with the go-ahead run for St. John's.

Then, with the outfield playing shallow, Frank Schwindel blasted a double to left that cleared the bases and gave the Red Storm a 5-1 cushion.

"They were working me with change-ups and I was swinging out of my shoes on the first couple," said Schwindel, who went 3-for-5. "I told myself I just needed to hit it hard and get a sac fly. At that point, I would've taken anything."

St. John's (8-14) entered with a Big East-leading 46 doubles this season. In keeping with that theme, Sean O'Hare followed with an RBI double and, one out later, Kyle Lombardo got the team's fifth two-bagger.

"We have a doubleheader coming up Thursday and I was worried we might burn out the [bullpen]," Red Storm coach Ed Blankmeyer said. "It was a little frustrating on offense, but our pitchers came up big. We threw all freshmen out there and they held up."

Mike Sheppard allowed a run in five innings, and Alex Katz, Thomas Hackimer and Joey Christopher blanked Stony Brook. Christopher allowed three hits in three scoreless innings to earn the win.

St. John's scored in the top of the first when Martin came home on a wild pitch, and Stony Brook (7-16) answered in the fifth on Austin Shives' RBI triple. With Michael Roehrig on third, Shives poked an opposite-field blooper toward the right field line that was just beyond the outfielder's dive and rolled into the corner.

The Seawolves threatened in the sixth inning, with runners on first and second, but St. John's escaped with an inning-ending double play. The Red Storm had its first two batters reach in the seventh, but Stony Brook got three outs on successive infield pop-ups. And so the game continued.

The teams faced each other only once before, in 2001, with Stony Brook winning, 7-5. This meeting at Citi Field was put in motion last year, SBU coach Matt Senk said, when the Mets honored Stony Brook for reaching the College World Series and the offer was made to have Citi Field host the two locals. St. John's had faced Georgetown in the ballpark's inaugural game back in March 2009.

"It's a cool experience getting to play in this park," Schwindel said. "We wanted to show that we're New York's team."

New York Sports