St. John’s baseball advances to Super Regionals for first time


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

Photo Courtesy of St. John's Athletics
Photo Courtesy of St. John's Athletics

St. John's upsets No. 5 North Carolina 9-5 and wins the Sunday nightcap of the NCAA Division I Chapel Hill Baseball Regional at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane— no it’s the “Super” Johnnies.

Led by sophomore Frank Schwindel’s perfect 5 for 5 day at the plate, the Red Storm knocked out No. 1 seeded University of North Carolina, 9-5, in the Chapel Hill region and knocked down the doors to its first ever Super Regional tournament.

Junior pitcher Matt Carasiti held the Tar Heels offense to four runs over 5.1 innings and juniors Sean O’Hare and Robert Case added two RBIs each to help the Red Storm in the final game of the opening bracket on Sunday, June 3.

“I’m proud of these guys,” head coach Ed Blankmeyer said about the win. “We had a tough start this year and we were trying to find ourselves, but towards the end of the season I felt that we had a chance to do something special.”

The Johnnies (40-21) stormed past the NCAA Division I regional tournament with three straight victories.

Junior outfielder Jeremy Baltz was named the Chapel Hill regional MVP batting .400 (4 for 10), slugging .900 and scoring eight runs.

Following the victory, former St. John’s standout and Mets captain, John Franco sent a message to the Red Storm on the university’s website.

“Good luck St. John’s Baseball, bring us home a winner; let’s go boys,” Franco said.

After capping the regional district wins the Johnnies will advance to play against No. 1 seed Arizona University (41-17) in a three-game series, for a chance to play in the eight-team College World Series.