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St. John’s Breezes Past Listless Creighton 10-2, Advances to Championship Sunday

The Johnnies scored 6 in the first two innings off 3 errors by the Creighton defense & hit cruise control the rest of the way.

This one was over pretty much from the jump.

Jeff Albrecht, the senior southpaw from Omaha, the #2 weekend starter for the Jays throughout the season, had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone.

When he did, the gaps were explored by the St. John’s batters.

In the first inning, Albrecht walked the first batter he saw in John Valente, then got a ground out to first. With one out, Jesse Berardi smashed a liner to right, falling in front of Bluejay right fielder Will Robertson, who overran the ball, giving Valente plenty of time to score.

1-0, St. John’s.

Just two pitches later, Tony Brocato pounded a double into the left-center gap, scoring Berardi.

Brocato would take third on a wild pitch, then trot home as Bluejay catcher Michael Emodi sailed his throw well above third baseman Bryce Only’s head.

3-0, St. John’s.

After Creighton went down in order in the bottom of the first, St. John’s went right back to work as Albrecht’s control slipped further and further away.

After a Jamie Galazin pop out, Robbie Knightes singled to right, took second on a wild pitch, then looked on as Kyle Cunningham walked. After John Valente popped out, Mike Donadio singled, scoring Knightes, advancing Cunningham to third.

At this point, Albrecht was completely out of sorts.

Jesse Berardi then reached on an error, and scored Cunningham, making it 5-0 all St. John’s.

Albrecht then walked Tony Brocato, loading the bases, and Ed Servais had seen enough, replacing him with Ethan DeCaster. DeCaster immediately walked in a run, and the score was 6-0.

Other than a 2-run dong by Landuyt in the bottom of the 2nd, Creighton’s offense was completely shut down by St. John’s Michael LoPresti. The sophomore righty was dominant all game long, striking out 5 over 7 innings of work, throwing just 100 pitches - 67 for strikes - while walking just one. He forced Creighton into 10 ground outs, using the bottom of the zone and getting weak contact throughout the day.

St. John’s would get a run in the fourth off a sac fly from Tony Brocato - who ended the game with 2 RBIs - but the offense would sit at a stalemate until the ninth inning.

In this fateful 9th, Ed Servais pulled senior and Bluejay save leader Dave Gerber for fellow senior Austin Stroschein. On Stroschein’s first offering he was taken deep - way, way deep - to right field by French Canadian Gui Gingras. This dong was as long as it was powerful, bounding about 14 rows deep, forcing all of the baguette eating hockey heads in Quebec to cheer loudly as their LaBatt Blue trickled down their puffy shirts.

Four consecutive singles later - by Josh Shaw, Jamie Galazin, Robbie Knightes, and Troy Dixon - and the Johnnies had put up yet another ‘3’ spot in the box score.

The Bluejays season, as thrilling as it may have been, has officially come to a close. It was a wild year full of surprises and let-downs, but with a roster full of young talent, they’ve certainly got a bodacious future ahead of themselves, bunts be damned!

St. John’s will play the Xavier Musketeers tomorrow at 12:00pm CT. The Musketeers will be vying for their second consecutive conference title while the Johnnies will need to win two to solidify their tournament bid.