SJU travels to Tucson for six games in three days

The St. John’s baseball team visits Tucson, Arizona for six games over three days Saturday through Monday, March 18-20.

THE PROGRAM: The Johnnies begin the trip on Saturday with a matchup against Wesleyan (Connecticut) before playing two games each on Sunday and Monday.

– Saturday, March 18: DH vs. Wesleyan (Connecticut), 12 p.m. MT
-Sunday, March 19: 9 a.m. MT vs. Concordia (Wis.) | 12:30 p.m. MT vs. Redlands (Calif.)
-Monday, March 20: DH vs. Oberlin (OH), 10 a.m. – Live Stats

A LOOK AT JOHNIES: St. John’s (4-6 overall) went 3-4 on its spring break trip to Florida last week. The Johnnies began their road trip with a narrow 7-6 loss to then-No. 5 (now No. 4) Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) and a 4-3 loss in 11 innings to Misericordia (Pa.), who received votes in this week’s national poll. SJU then rattled off three straight wins over Lebanon Valley (Pa.; W, 5-3); Pittsburgh-Bradford (Pa.; W, 11-6); and Hiram (Ohio; W, 8-7). The Johnnies finished the road trip with a 16-6 loss to Wabash (Ind.) and a 9-0 loss to Augustana (Ill.). Augustana also received votes in this week’s poll.

STRONG COMPETITION: The Johnnies’ seven opponents in Florida currently have a combined record of 56-33-1 (.628) so far this season. The four teams that beat SJU are a combined 43-12 (.782).

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: The Johnnies performed well in positional hitting last week, hitting .314 (22-for-70) with runners in scoring position, .769 (10-for-13) with a runner on third base with less than two outs and . 500 (5-for-10) with the bases loaded. SJU also hit .282 (24-for-85) and recorded 20 of its 35 RBIs with two strikeouts. The pitching staff allowed just eight extra base hits during the seven games and recorded 50 strikeouts in 62.1 innings.

On the other hand, SJU hit just .241 overall while allowing a .313 average over the seven games. The Johnnies also struck out 51 times in 241 at bats (21.2 percent). On the mound, SJU issued 62 free passes (51 walks and 11 strikeouts) in 62.1 innings en route to a 6.64 ERA.

IN THE RECORD BOOK: Senior Max Nirop (Alameda, Calif.) is currently tied with Matt Ode ’98 for third in program history with 19 career home runs and tied with Tony Giuliani ’99 for eighth with 93 RBI. Senior pitcher Casey Trapp (Blaine, Minn./Centennial) is fifth in SJU history with 149 strikeouts, two behind Danny Coleman ’69 for fourth. Trapp also has 149.1 career innings pitched, 9.2 behind his former teammate Nathan Brandecker ’22 in the 10th.

-Wesleyan (Connect.): Wesleyan is 3-3 (all in Tucson), including a 2-3 record against MIAC opponents: Gustavus Adolphus (W, 2-0; L, 2-5); Augsburg (L, 5-16; W, 14-4); and Macalester (L, 7-10)…The Cardinals finished third in the NESCAC West Division last season and lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s conference tournament with an 18-16 overall record.

-Concordia (Wisconsin): Falcons are 5-4 this year and 4-0 vs. MIAC: Hamline (W, 29-8); Augsburg (W, 5-4; W, 11-5 in 8 in.); Macalester (W, 5-3)…Concordia plays a doubleheader against Carleton today (March 17)…CUW began the trip last Sunday (March 12) and plays eight games before facing SJU on Sunday morning… The Falcons finished 12-12 in the NACC last season and just missed the conference tournament due to a tiebreaker.

-Redlands (California): The Bulldogs are 7-9 this season and play Macalester today … Redlands went 22-16-1 overall and 12-11-1 in the SCIAC last season and missed the four-team conference playoffs.

-Oberlin (Ohio): The Yeomen are 1-3 this season and begin the trip to Tucson on Sunday (March 19) before facing SJU in a doubleheader on Monday… Oberlin finished 7-19 last season and 3-15 (tied for last) in the NCAC .

SERIES HISTORY: Sunday’s game against Redlands will be the first between the two teams on the baseball diamond, while the Johnnies are 10-2 all-time against the other three opponents (all in Tucson): Wesleyan (1-0, 12-11 win in 2019) ; Concordia (5-1, head-to-head in 2015, 2016 and 2019); and Oberlin (3-1, head-to-head in 2013 and 2018).

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