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SJU can’t hit, but earns a split

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Hansen, a junior flamethrower who is expected to be one of the top 15 picks in June's Major League Draft, was the hard luck loser for the Red Storm, which dropped the nightcap of a Big East opening doubleheader against Boston College, 4-3 in 12 innings Saturday at the Ballpark at St. John's.Behind a complete-game shutout by Anthony Varvaro, St. John's won the opener, 4-0.Hansen, who dropped to 0-2, faced 18 batters in five innings, struck out 9 and allowed just 1 unearned run. But that run proved to be the winning run for Boston College (14-6, 3-1 Big East) when Shawn McGill, who was hit by Hansen to lead off the 12th, came around to score on an error by Red Storm first baseman Anthony Smith.The transfer from George Washington bobbled Jonny Weiss' slow roller up the line with two out and McGill scored what proved to be winning run from second base.St. John's (9-9, 1-1) loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with two out, but Dave Preziosi struck out Joe Burke to end the game. Preziosi, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games in the fifth inning, started the game at first base but relieved starter Nick Asselin with no outs in the sixth inning and retired the side.Preziosi returned to first base in the seventh inning but was back on the mound in the 12th, drawing the ire of Red Storm coach Ed Blankmeyer."My understanding of the rule is when you bring in a pitcher to pitch from a defensive position, the pitcher, when he goes back to the defensive position, can't come back and pitch again," said Blankmeyer, who filed an official protest for the first time in his 10 years as St. John's coach.St. John's trailed 3-0 but, after Sam DeLuca scored on a passed ball in the sixth inning, tied the game in the eighth on a 2-run slap single to right by pinch hitter Gil Zayas.The Red Storm combined for five hits against BC's four pitchers and couldn't touch Eagles closer Kevin Boggan, who retired 11 in a row after Zayas tied the game."Everyone looks like Roger Clemens out there," Blankmeyer said of the four Eagles pitchers who combined to allow 5 hits. "We're just not in sync, guys are struggling."Hansen entered the game in the eighth after Rob Delaney - who replaced starter Jim Wladyka - pitched 2.2 innings of 1-hit ball. He retired 12 Eagles in a row before hitting McGill to leadoff the 12th inning."I went up to (St. John's pitching coach Scott Brown) after the second inning and I just said, 'You're not taking me out," Hansen said. "I'm winning this game or I'm losing this game but you're not taking me out."In the opening game Varvaro continued his dominance against Boston College, giving up 5 hits and striking out eight 8 in a complete-game shutout. In three career games against the Eagles, the righty from Staten Island is 3-0 with a 0.78 earned run average. Varvaro received all the offense he would need in the fourth inning when Will Vogl drove in DeLuca with a sacrifice fly to center and a gorgeous 2-strike squeeze bunt by Joe Burke plated P.J. Antoniato.Burke manufactured an insurance run in the sixth inning when he hustled home from second base, scoring on Ken Devenney's slow roller on the right side of the infield."All my pitches were working pretty well," said Varvaro, who got out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning. "I threw the change-up a couple of times but it was pretty much the fastball and curveball I was going back and forth with."After non-league games at Columbia and at home against Wagner, St. John's hosts Pittsburgh in a three-game series, starting with a Saturday doubleheader at noon.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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