|Print this story||Permalink|
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. After three years of frustration, Mike Rozema finally got to the Big East baseball tournament. But now the St. Johns senior shortstop wonders if it was all worth it after the Red Storm was eliminated by Boston College, 6-4, Friday night in front of 1,427 at Commerce Bank Ballpark.
It was miserable, Rozema said. Id rather come here and not win but maybe its better to not come here at all.
No. 2 St. Johns entered the second day of the tournament in good shape after beating third-seeded Pittsburgh last Thursday night.
But on Friday the Red Storm didnt play fundamental baseball; it left a small army of runners on base and didnt get the solid pitching it got in the opener when Anthony Varvaro was masterful through eight innings in a 4-2 win over the Panthers.
And after dropping a 9-2 decision to top-seeded Notre Dame in the afternoon, the Red Storm lost the nightcap to No. 4 Boston College, which staved off elimination twice first beating Pittsburgh and then defeating St. Johns.
We hit some balls on the screws, as well as weve done in the tournament in the (Notre Dame) game. What can you do? said St. Johns coach Ed Blankmeyer. But we didnt catch the ball and we walked too many guys. You just cant give things away.
St. Johns (36-21) stranded 28 runners in the three tournament games, including 10 against Boston College, and entered the game 22-1 when it scored the first run.
That appeared to be a good omen when Jim Martin, who led off the game with a double to left-center field, scored on Rozemas infield single.
But Boston College (32-26) responded with three runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by Dave Preziosis two-run single.
Red Storm starter Joe Reid (6-5) was chased two batters later after his fifth walk. He allowed three runs two earned on four hits with two strikeouts.
Preziosi, who had nine RBIs in 23 regular season games, drove in two more when he lifted Justin Muirs 1-0 breaking ball over the wall in right to put the Eagles in front, 5-1, in the fifth inning.
He came into my office and he wanted to know how come he wasnt playing. He felt like he could help the team, Boston College coach Pete Hughes said of Preziosi. I thought about it and he was right, and I played him. He proved us defensively and what hes done offensively I didnt project.
In the opening game, starter Rob Delaney (3-1) got rocked for five runs on five hits and was pulled in the second inning as No. 7 Notre Dame cruised to a 9-2 win.
Freshman Matt Tosoni did an admirable job in relief, allowing two runs one earned on six hits, and amazingly stayed in the game after a line drive up the middle by Matt Edwards hit Tosoni on the left side of the head in the fifth inning.
The ball knocked off Tosonis hat and landed in short right field. Steve Andres scored on the play to put the Fighting Irish (48-10) ahead, 6-0.
I wanted to get back up because I was looking for where the runner was and I had no idea what happened, said Tosoni, who held a bag of ice to his head in the dugout between innings. But they told me to stay lying down.
Its the second time this year Tosoni was hit with a line drive up the middle. The first time was the second batter of his collegiate debut against Arkansas in the Red Storms opener Feb. 20 when he was flush hit in the chest.
Basically I was worried about where the guy was from third. I should have been worried about my health, said Tosoni, who is 5-1 with a 2.91 earned run average this year. I wish we could have gotten the win out of it.
After first thinking he would pass out, the freshman from Canada was helped to his feet and promptly got Cody Rizzo to pop out to second to end the inning. He allowed just two more hits over the remaining 2.1 innings.
It was kind of scary but more than anything else I think the best thing for a young man to do is to get out there and pitch right away so he doesnt think about it, Blankmeyer said. He was fine; he said he was throwing harder.
Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
|Print this story||Permalink|
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.