College Roundup: Blankmeyer Wins 700th

Already the winningest coach in St. John’s history, Ed Blankmeyer checked off yet another milestone in his sterling 21-year coaching career Wednesday night. With the Red Storm’s 9-5 win at home against Wagner, Blankmeyer earned his 700th career victory.

(1) Texas A&M: off
(2) Florida: off
(3) Miami: postponed at (25) Florida Atlantic
(4) Louisville: off
(5) Mississippi State: off
(6) Vanderbilt: off
(7) South Carolina: off
(8) Texas Christian: off
(9) North Carolina: off
(10) California: off
(11) Oregon State: off
(12) Florida State: off
(13) Mississippi: postponed at Memphis
(14) Virginia: lost, 5-4, vs. Old Dominion
(15) Houston: off
(16) Oklahoma State: off
(17) Long Beach State: off
(18) UC Santa Barbara: off
(19) Louisiana State: off
(20) Michigan: off
(21) Alabama: off
(22) Arkansas: off
(23) Georgia Tech: won, 6-1, vs. Georgia Southern
(24) Kentucky: won, 6-2, vs. Xavier
(25) Florida Atlantic: postponed vs. (3) Miami

The win moved Blankmeyer to 700-430-4 in 21 seasons. It was also the Red Storm’s (12-9) fifth straight victory as the team looks to wrap up its non-conference slate on a strong note.

St. John’s did all of its damage early, establishing a 9-2 lead with a six-run second inning. Shortstop Jesse Berardi led the charge, going 2-for-4 and driving in three, while eight Red Storm pitchers combined to hold Wagner to five runs on 12 hits.

Blankmeyer’s milestone was a clear highlight on an otherwise quiet night for college baseball. Only three Top 25 teams played Wednesday, with a prime matchup between No. 3 Miami and No. 25 Florida Atlantic postponed due to rain and with No. 13 Mississippi rained out at Memphis, as well.

No. 14 Virginia (17-9), one of the teams that did manage to get in a game Wednesday, fell, 5-4, to Old Dominion after a pair of late errors allowed the Monarchs to come back late.

“We’re disappointed to lose the ballgame,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor told “We had two double play balls (in the eighth inning) and didn’t turn them. If we turn a double play there it’s a 3-2 ballgame. Unfortunately. we did not have enough to overcome it.”

The win was Old Dominion’s fourth straight against Virginia, and it moved the Monarchs to 19-7 on the season. The Monarchs are in the midst of a difficult stretch of games, having just been swept at Rice and getting set to host FAU this weekend.

For Virginia, perhaps bigger than the loss was news of a change in the weekend rotation, first reported by the The Daily Progress’ (Charlottesville, Va.) Andrew Ramspacher. Freshman Daniel Lynch (1.2, 5.53), who had been starting on Saturdays for the Cavaliers, got the ball Wednesday and threw five scoreless innings. Lynch will be replaced Saturday vs. North Carolina State by sophomore lefthander Adam Haseley (5-0, 1.75), who started for Virginia in the College World Series last June and is also the team’s starting center fielder.

“We’ve played three conference weekends, and I just thought it was important that we mixed it up,” O’Connor told The Daily Progress. “I don’t know if it’ll stay. How we start our rotation is never how it is in the middle or how it is at the end of the year.

“Adam Haseley’s done a nice job in the middle of the week, and I just thought we needed to make an adjustment on what we’re doing on the weekend.”

Elsewhere in the country, No. 23 Georgia Tech continued to roll after taking a weekend series at North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets defeated Georgia Southern, 6-1, behind a strong outing from righthander Cole Pitts (5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 K) and the fifth home run of the season by talented sophomore Kel Johnson.

No. 24 Kentucky, meanwhile, bounced back after a surprising loss to Northern Kentucky on Tuesday night. The Wildcats defeated Xavier, 6-2, scoring all six of their runs in the sixth inning.

“I thought (the win) was really important,” head coach Gary Henderson told “It certainly took us some time. I thought our kids did a really good job keeping their poise. We had a crack in the door there in the sixth, and we have about four or five guys square it up, and we put a big number up.”

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