Volume 95, Issue 2

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VOL 95 : 02 April 19th, 2017 torchonline.com

The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University



Left to right: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Professor Calvin Mittman, Mittman’s son and Former President Barack Obama.

ISABELLA BRUNI Calvin Mittman, one of St. John’s University’s longest tenured professors, died unexpectedly on April 10. He was 77. A popular math teacher here for nearly 55 years, Mittman was known for his friendly demeanor, his interest in helping his students and a penchant for attending all types of on-campus events. He was found by a colleague unconscious in a second-floor bathroom of St. John Hall -- with graded exams by his side. Police did not give a cause of death. “He never took a day off,” said Vivian Vescovacci, department chair secretary of languages and literatures, who found Mittman. “This school is what kept him alive.” “He had a passion for mathematics and liked to solve problems,” added Florin Catrina, associate professor of mathematics and computer science. “He was friends with ev-

erybody.” A St. John’s spokesman said in a statement to the Torch that the university community is “deeply saddened” by Mittman’s death. “We express our sincere gratitude for Cal’s service to our students,” the university’s statement said. “He was a valued faculty member who will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cal and his family during this difficult time.” Vescovacci said in an interview with the Torch that she went looking for Mittman when colleagues grew worried by his absence. She found him on the ground in the bathroom. Brenda Padro, the secretary of languages and literatures, went in to help Vescovacci with CPR efforts. A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department said only that paramedics responded to a 911 call on campus at 4:56 p.m. for an unconscious 77-year-old male. According to Vescovacci, a lot of Mittman’s family was out of state, so the Fresh Mead-



Discussion on tale of literary heroine, “Clarissa”

Staff editorial on Spring Concert cancellation

Johnnies land new player Mikey Dixon

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Co-News Editor

ows resident spent a lot of his free time at the University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and master’s degree from Princeton University, both in mathematics, according to his profile on the St. John’s website. He started working at St. John’s in 1962, according to his LinkedIn profile. “He was a very good man, very humble. He’s going to be missed,” Vescovacci said, with tears in her eyes. “He was my newspaper boy.” She said Mittman would go up the stairs from the math department to the language department to bring her the New York Times everyday. “He loved our department because we are right upstairs,” Dr. Annalisa Sacca, chair of the Italian department, said. “He loved the food and would go to every event.” Mittman’s math and computer science colleague, adjunct professor Dennis Aprile, said

CALVIN MITTMAN 1939 - 2017 that on top of his dedication to his subject he was very active. “He would run through the math hallways,” Aprile said with a chuckle. “He was a brilliant guy, he had a way of explaining things,” Aprile added. “He dabbled in French and he even read the German dictionary.” Catrina, one of Mittman’s colleagues in the math department, said he was avid in helping students who were involved in the Putnam Mathematical Competition, an annual competition for undergraduate college students in the United States and Canada that gives cash prizes. “He always helped students with training and never missed a day,” Catrina said. Dr. Charles Traina, the department chair, said Mittman always had a smile on his face and was always ready to help his students. Continued on page 2





SJU Speaker Series hosts: “Clarissa”

Stephanie Insley Hershinow leads discussion on Samuel Richardson novel ARIANNA PINTADO

Staff Writer

The St. John’s University English Department introduced Baruch College/CUNY assistant professor and author, Stephanie Insley Hershinow, during one of their “Speaker Series” events in St. John Hall Wednesday, April 12. The evening began with Hershinow reading a recent article she had written explains her take on the depth, development and socialization of the 18th century novel, “Clarissa,” by Samuel Richardson. The novel tells the tragic tale of a heroine, Clarissa, who continuously fights to keep her virtue while having a family who continuously put her through challenges that jeopardize it. Hershinow explains how she views the novel’s leading lady, Clarissa, as the unconventional character during that time period. While the average woman during that time was typically written as a housewife whose only purpose was to get married, clean and bear children, Clarissa went against those ideals and tried to create a life for herself. “It was really amazing. She was so relatable and funny,” second year masters student, Kailyn Giaccone said. “She gave the speech in a way that makes you want to pursue this idea more and read it again.”


Students partaking in the discussion on the novel “Clarissa” last Wednesday.

A big topic that the Hershinow and the students who attended talked about was the introduction of data keeping during that time. One of the standout characteristics of the novel is the well-kept daily schedule in a led-

Professor Mittman Continued from page one

“I think in many ways, he mentored every- Calculus for Pharmacy and the Biological body... in the sense that, if a student came Sciences, University Calculus I and III and up to him for help, he would sit down and Mathematics for the Liberal Arts. Some of help them. He lived within walking distance Mittman’s past Mathematics for the Liberal of the campus, and was here all the time,” Arts students were surprised to hear about Traina said. his passing. “He was an avid handball player,” he add“I remember he loved palindromes and ed. “I think years ago he was connected with was a fan of history,” alum Romario Ferreira, the Chess Club, when there was a chess club, a psychology student, said in an email. “He so there’s a whole lot was also one of the sharpof things he was inest professors I ever had. volved in.” He could solve equations “He was wellproblems in his head “He was a brilliant guy, and known not just in in miraculous fashion. the math department, he had a way of explaining He was a brilliant man but throughout the and held his students to things.” University. He was a very high standard and - Dennis Aprile the kind of guy who was funny in his own way would attend almost with his spur of the moany event. If there ment jokes. Condolences was an activity that to the family.” was related to someSophomore Spanish thing else, he would go, because he was very major Sieta Leon added, “He was a very well-rounded. good person and was really passionate about He had an interest in almost everything. the topics he taught us in class.” I know that he had a great interest in lan“Although I did not have a chance to get guages. He also liked to eat, if there was an to know him on a personal level, I could tell event with food, he was there. He would be he was an honorable man, passionate about the first to admit it,” Traina said, to which teaching his students and sharing his passion Vescovacci and Sacca also attested. with the wide variety of students who sat in According to the University’s website, his his class,” Cammi Roberts, a junior in the research interests include combinatorics, School of Education, said. number theory, knots and links and discrete Condolences can be sent to Sinai Chapels operators. at 162-05 Horace Harding Expressway in In his time at St. John’s, Mittman taught Fresh Meadows, according to legacy.com.

ger about Clarissa. Hershinow elaborated on the idea that this influenced the world around them during that time period and brought the idea of data collection and daily planning. Hershinow went as far as explaining that Benjamin

Franklin was even inspired by the format shown in “Clarissa” for the layout of one of his books, and this layout has inspired our modern day trend of bullet-journaling. The article reading was then followed by a question and answer session where Hershinow elaborated on the strong stance of gender roles that “Clarissa” had broken, the comparison of bullet-journals to Clarissa’s ledger. Hershinow also explained her dissatisfaction with the self-tracking method portrayed in the novel. “This speech kind of gave us a different spin on how we are reading the novel,” second year masters student, Nicolina Astorina said, “It makes me go back and think about things that I have kind of missed the first time, so that was really interesting.” Despite focusing majorly on “Clarissa,” Hershinow’s knowledge and passion for literature roots more deeply. She specializes in eighteenth-century British literature, the history and theory of the novel, experimental literature and literary theory. She is currently working on her book, “Born Yesterday: Inexperience and the Early Novel,” where she focuses on eighteenth-century obsession with naiveté. Hershinow dives into the literary form of older novels and researches the change in writing and how literature has evolved into what it is today.

Features 3



Two students make their aspirations a reality as fashion designers

Model Kokie Childers is seen sporting GUILTY’s latest fashion line.


Staff Writer

Two young men from Atlanta and Los Angeles came to New York City with a goal. Not having known each other until they arrived at St. John’s University in 2015, Jibril Mitchell, 19, and James Dearing, 20, came together to create the brand, “Guilty.” Inspired by the fact that black men are always seen to be guilty on sight, the duo chose to name their brand, “Guilty” and reclaim the label. “‘Guilty’ is more than a clothing brand , it’s a lifestyle,” Mitchell, the chief executive officer, said.

The brand launched in November 2016, but plans were already being drawn up a year before, in October 2015. “I’ve been into fashion my whole life and I was kinda raised in it...this is my third brand, but this is the only one that’s ever really gone anywhere,” Mitchell said. Dearing said he has always been interested in the clothing industry, and he always knew that at some point in his life he wanted to get involved in fashion; thus his involvement with the brand and a heavy hand in marketing. The main source for public relations at the time for the brand, like most, is through the use of Instagram. “Guilty” has

been featured on various pages by models and athletes, who Mitchell claimed to be a part of the “Guilty Gang.” Landon Male models show off GUILTY designs. Collins, safety for the New York Giants, is close to Mitchell and has been given see in their personal friend group. some gear to rock. “Guilty” is even being Due to the various backgrounds their featured in Los Angeles by a local artist friends come from, Mitchell and Dearing there, named Warm Brew who has recently said it makes designing easier because they been interviewed by publications like XXL. can appeal to a bigger audience. With their clothes being worn in places like Using Instagram to check out the compeLondon and Tokyo, the possibilities for the tition, Dearing, the chief financial officer, duo are endless. said, “It makes you get up on your feet and As far as designing goes, there are plenty do something different.” of ideas already and more to come, accordThe two plan to have a pop up shop in ing to the duo. New York in the next few months accomThe strategy of their choice is limited re- panied by a trip to Tokyo, Japan this sumleases; when more traffic comes to the brand mer. they will have some dope merchandise to The future is bright for these two young let out. Most of the inspiration for designs entrepreneurs and according to Mitchell, comes from street wear and even what they “‘Guilty’ season is approaching.”

Starbucks secret menu KAYLA GONZALEZ

Staff Writer

Your eyes are searching for your next favorite drink to hit the Starbucks Menu, whether it is a sweet tea, a cold brew or your preferred seasonal blend, you are always on the look out for the next big addition. But what if there is more than what meets the eye? If you are a Starbucks lover, then you have to know about the wonders of the secret menu. The Starbucks secret menu is made for Starbucks devotees who can’t wait to try something new. The secret menu at Starbucks is home to 200+ different Frappuccinos, teas, lattes, refreshers, macchiatos and many more drinks! The list of options, which is located online, is filled with recipes that were made by the hands of baristas working at Starbucks. The secret menu is so underground that employees don’t know the recipes by heart. So, don’t expect every store to know what secret menu drink you are ordering. None of the drinks on the secret menu are official, and the baristas are not required to learn the recipe. When you have found a drink that suits your fancy, make sure you have the ingredients on hand as well as the name. Andrew Skelly, a barista at a Starbucks in California, says, “Sometimes secret menu drinks gain so much popularity and get ordered a lot, so many baristas end up memorizing the reci-

pe. And if they get even more popular they’ll be made an official drink and get a recipe card and a button of their own on our system.” Drinkers, don’t let this slow you down. Maybe your special drink will make its way to becoming official so you won’t have to repeat your recipe to each barista you meet at Starbucks. Fingers crossed. What’s the newest and most well liked on the top-secret Starbucks menu? The newest undisclosed drink to reach social media stardom is the Pink Drink. It is made with Strawberry Acai Refresher, coconut milk and scoops of strawberries or blackberries (or both). But it has now made its way to become an official drink. Another popular drink is the Snickerdoodle Frappuccino. This mixes together Chai Crème Frappuccino with soy milk, cinnamon dolce syrup (1.5 pumps tall, 2 pumps grande, 2.5 pumps venti) and is topped with cinnamon dolce sprinkles. Butterbeer Frappuccino that gets the right consistency with whole milk, and by adding 3 pumps of caramel syrup, 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup with caramel drizzle to top it off makes the list of fan favorites. Now your eyes will be searching the secret menu for a new drink to try each week. So pick your favorite blend, your sweetest teas, and your tangiest flavors on the Starbucks secret menu.


“My favorite show to binge watch would be The Crown because you get to go back in time and see inside Queen Elizabeth’s life and how her life completely changed, when accepting the crown.”

Natalie Fraser Freshman - Business

“I love to binge watch Lock Up. It’s such an interesting show and it always amazes me as to why people are in jail.”

Gina Linnemann Junior - Criminal Justice

“My favorite show to binge watch would be Avatar The Last Airbender. It’s a childhood favorite. I say that because the show was a source of therapy during a testy childhood.”

Ramani Williams Sophomore - Psych

“I like to binge watch The Office. It never gets old and it’s always funny.”

Kevin Barbour Sophomore - Risk Mgmt & Insurance

“My favorite show to binge watch is Parks and Rec. I absolutely love Amy Poehler and the show is hilarious!”

Alexis Gaskin Freshman - Undecided

“I watch Shameless because it has dark humor and a sense of authenticity that we need on television.”

Catherine Sielaff Sophomore - Biology

CHYNA DAVIS Staff Writer

“My favorite tv show to watch is Family Guy because it makes me laugh and allows me to relax.”

Brandon Morgan Sophomore - Physicians Assistant

“My favorite shows to binge watch is Grey’s Anatomy because the storyline is written so great. Shonda Rhimes really took time to develop the characters in her show.”

Wyett Woodbury Sophomore - Public Relations

“Little People Big World! I enjoy it because it works as a disconnect from the real world.”

Melanie Sheehan Sophomore - Communications

5 Entertainment


“Going In Style:” a slow getaway

“The Fate of the Furious”


“The Fate of the Furious” offers fans more of what they have come to expect, with a plot that’s more absurd than ever, and a self-awareness that says “We know how ridiculous this movie is, and you know how ridiculous this movie is, so let’s have some fun with it.” Family man Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has turned on his crew for reasons unknown and now works for the cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron). This leads the characters on a global adventure through Cuba, New York and Russia as Dom’s wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), ex-lawman Hobbes (Dwayne Johnson) and the rest of the crew try to talk some sense into their old friend before he can help this villainess achieve world domination.

“Fate” is a film that knows its intended audience well. It’s nonsensical in all the right ways, with the same logic-defying stunts that have come to define this franchise over the course of the last few installments. These films are no longer about illegal street racing, but about elaborate heists, putting this insanely likable cast in the most extreme situations possible, and above all, family.

Where this film succeeds is in the execution of that specific formula, grounding all of the silliness going on by giving Dom a surprisingly compelling motivation to make his actions more than just a plot turn for the sake of having one. Unless you’re looking for something other than pure entertainment, “The Fate of the Furious” should be right in your wheelhouse.


MICHAEL AMBROSINO Entertainment Editor “Going In Style” stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin. And there you have it. That’s all this film has going for it. A main cast including those three acting legends is the only reason audience members would schlep out to see “Going In Style” and, ultimately, that’s its only redeeming quality. Here is a dull, shamefully unfunny display of talented, legendary actors simply collecting a paycheck. Their charisma makes the film bearable but doesn’t save it from being the great, big bore that it is. Through its 96-minute duration, there are two or three genuinely funny moments. One of these moments feature the three old men attempting a grocery store robbery, followed by a fast getaway in an electronic wheelchair. It’s a shame that the rest of the movie doesn’t have that fast-pace fun and energy. This is a film that could have benefitted from a strong sense of style and visual comedy. A film about three old men robbing a bank could have, and should have, been loads of hilarious fun. Instead, the concept is squandered and presented on a bland, uninteresting plate, lacking spark or color. Director Zach Braff holds back from doing anything marginally inventive and, instead, just throws everything together and calls it a day. This is studio filmmaking at its laziest.


Paul F. Engelhart ‘82GEd The School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award

Joanne Lenhart ‘86C St. John’s College of Lib Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert T. Angeletti ‘75SVC College of Professional Studies Distinguished Alumni Award

Steven J. Farella ‘77SVC Heritage Circle

Benjamin E. Liss, MD ‘09C St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Jason G. Babby ‘09PharmD College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Rogelio Oscar Fernandez ‘92P Outstanding Alumni Achievement Medal

Harry R. Beeth ‘67CBA, ‘70MBA Pietas Medal

Mark Gillespie ‘09Cert College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Serafino “Fino” Celano ‘09Ed.D. The School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award

Stephen Gold ‘82SVC College of Professional Studies Distinguished Alumni Award

James “Jim” W. Christmas ‘70CBA, ‘10HON The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award

Alando A. Hall ‘08P College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Lee D. Eisenberg, M.D., FACS ‘67C Outstanding Alumni Achievement Medal

Sr. Beryl F. Herdt, Ph.D. ‘67GEd Pietas Medal

Christine Mangino ‘04EdD The School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award Joseph Mauriello ‘66CBA, ‘72MBA The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award William J. Montgoris ‘67CBA University Lifetime Achievement Award Ian M. Pinnavaia ‘06CPS College of Professional Studies Distinguished Young Alumni Award Nicholas Plakoris ‘77SVC, ‘83MBA College of Professional Studies Distinguished Alumni Award

Allison S. Potar Raich ‘07PharmD College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award Tremaine Sayles, Psy.D. ‘09G St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Young Alumni Award Elizabeth Simun-Janson ‘12TCB The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Distinguished Young Alumni Award Edward F. Smith ‘66CBA The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award Gerald C. Yarborough ‘03C St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award Salvatore J. Zizza ‘67UC President’s Medal

6 Opinion


Flames of the Torch

Answers needed on spring concert Managing Board XCV



Suzanne Ciechalski, Editor-in-Chief Bryant Rodriguez, Managing Editor



Ariana Ortiz News Editor Isabella Bruni News Editor Derrell Bouknight Sports Editor Dylan Hornik Sports Editor Beverly Danquah Features Editor Michael Ambrosino Entertainment Editor Carissa Herb Opinion Editor

Steven Verdile Design Editor Lauren Finegan Photo Editor Courtney Dixon Chief Copy Editor Amanda Negretti Assistant Photo Editor Erin Bola Social Media Manager Angelica Acevedo Social Media Manager Jim Baumbach Adviser

Staff and contributors Arianna Pintado John Cavanagh David Rosario

Chyna Davis Kayla Gonzalez Loraina Calderon

Editorial policy

Naomi Arnot Yenny Ng

About the Torch

Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of the Torch. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Torch.

The Torch is the official, independent student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University.

Opinions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administration of St. John’s University.

All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.

To contact the Torch by mail:

The Torch, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439

The Torch is typically published on Wednesdays and publishes approximately 20 issues throughout the academic year. Copies are distributed for free on campus and through mail subscriptions.

If there’s one way to characterize students’ response to the spring concert being canceled, it’s disappointment. Student Government Incorporated (SGI) issued a joint statement with Haraya earlier this month announcing that there the would be no concert this year. The groups said they want to restructure the spring concert model. When we reached out to SGI for more information, we were told that the groups want to ensure that the concert lives up to the standard of the tradition. Haraya never replied to our requests for comment. And once the story was published, our social media accounts exploded with tweets from students asking why the concert was canceled, where money came into play, and expressing disappointment. “Of course the best event at my school gets canceled…” one student tweeted. “Since tuition is so expensive I would’ve at least expected our spring concert smh,” another tweeted. Another said, “damn. what do johnnies look forward to now?” And those were just some of the responses we received. It’s clear that students were dissatisfied with the explanation given by SGI and Haraya -- and so are we. SGI nor Haraya has given a clear enough answer as to why the concert was canceled. The Torch asked several times to know the factors that led to the decision to cancel the

concert to remodel the structure -- but a detailed response was never given. We’ve again hit a speedbump in the path to transparency. SGI and Haraya should have done more to at least spread the word that the concert was canceled. Haraya posted the statement to its social media accounts, but SGI did not. There was also nothing on SGI’s website regarding the announcement. If SGI is going to issue a statement, whether by itself or with another organization, they need to post it on their social media accounts and their website. Otherwise, students are losing out on information that they clearly value. Students need to be able to count on SGI to disseminate information they care about. The statement issued regarding the concert was the first one issued by SGI, and it did little to answer students’ questions. It’s well known that the spring concert has a rocky past, too, so we aren’t sure why SGI or Haraya didn’t make more of an effort to explain the decision to students. Rather than giving answers, their statement--and the radio silence that followed-has raised more questions. SGI is right -- the spring concert is an important tradition at St. John’s. So when it gets canceled, students are bound to be upset, and full of questions. They deserve answers.

Critiques on Syrian Air Strike

Are American response attacks aiding overseas tension?


Contributing Writer

Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on Thursday, April 7 after reports surfaced that the Assad regime used chemicals weapons. While the use of chemical weapons is deplorable, you can not simply fight violence with violence. There is no ideal solution, as Syria has been heavily attacked since 2011. Yet, why do we only focus on them when the worst situations occur? How come we do not constantly discuss Syria and what we can do to help? The use of chemical weapons was atrocious. But, the citizens of Syria are suffering every day from varying degrees of attacks. There are frequent air raids that often target hospitals. Areas such as Mosul and Aleppo have been destroyed due to the fighting. How many times have we seen a video on our Facebook or Twitter of Syrian citizens after an attack? We hear the cries from the wounded and loved ones. We see the pain and horrors. We need to learn to empathize, not just

sympathize. It may be less daunting to reshare a video rather than educate ourselves. As a nation, we need to be aware of the situation, fully. Look at other sources other than CNN. Rather, research Syrian Facebook pages that share daily updates on Syria. The reporters on the ground often post blog posts that provide day-to-day updates. Do not be a blind observer to the injustice. The air strike sent a political message, but it was just one of many air strikes that have targeted Syria. Children have grown up knowing only that very sound. We need to grasp that, for six years, there has been no peace. The citizens of Syria have watched the violence unfold daily since it started. We can not combat violence with violence anymore. We need to put aside politics and focus on the wellbeing of citizens who cannot protect themselves. The airstrike is most likely one of many that will come in the near future. Since the Syrian airstrike, President Trump also bombed the Nangarhar province in Iraq.


Missile body on display at the National Military Museum in Soesterber, Netherlands.

The attack was carried out with one of the largest non-nuclear bombs. The Trump administration is not facing the hurdles that the Obama administration

faced regarding military intervention. This may foreshadow the transformation from diplomatic to aggressive tactics regarding the Middle East.

Sports 7


NCAA Baseball 4/11 ST. JOHN’S

NCAA Women’s Tennis 4/7



NCAA Lacrosse 4/8









The St. John’s women’s tennis team ended the season on a high note Saturday afternoon, beating Fordham 5-2 on Senior Day. Seniors Anna Morozova, and Stephanie Elgegren were honored before the game for their contributions to the program. Following the ceremony, Morozova and partner Jessica Livianu won their 19th straight doubles match to start the day. After the Johnnies clinched the doubles point and took the first singles match, Fordham tied it with two straight singles wins. However, the Johnnies went up for good when Livianu won her singles match with a 6-3, and 6-4 win. The Johnnies finished 16-3, their best win total since the 1989-1990 season. PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

The St. John’s Red Storm took on the Albany Great Danes last Tuesday, looking to avoid a three game losing streak. It was a rare losing streak for the Johnnies, but they made it a quick one after defeating Albany 9-3. Michael Donadio lead the way for St. John’s, going 4-5 with three RBI’s. Sophomore pitcher Matt Messier started the game, and allowed just one hit in four innings. Reliever Turner French finished the job, earning the win after pitching 2.2 scoreless innings. Things got started early, as the Red Storm scored four runs in the second inning. They would add two more in the fourth, capped off by John Valente’s first home run of the season in the fifth inning. Albany answered with two home runs in the sixth, but St. John’s continued to add to their lead, and finished with nine after Jesse Berardi hit a sacrifice fly to center. The Red storm improved to 23-5. This week, the Red Storm will take on Fairleigh Dickinson in a three-game series at home. The matchup between the two teams will begin on April 21 and runs through Sunday afternoon. It is their last non-conference series of the season, although they play individual games against non-Big East foes three more times this season.

NCAA Softball 4/12

Anna Morozova and Stephanie Elgegren were honored before the match.


The St. John’s Red Storm lost a close, low scoring game to Iona last Wednesday afternoon by a score of 3-1 in New Rochelle, NY. Sophomore right-hander Madison Morris pitched a solid game, allowing no runs through four innings. Pitcher Grace Kramer allowed all three runs in the sixth inning. The Red Storm only mustered four hits all afternoon, but one of them was a home run by freshman Marissa Rizzi. It was her first of the season. The Johnnies didn’t go down easy, and loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, down only two runs. However, Iona pitcher Marnie Skinner ended the game with a strikeout, and St. John’s fell to 19-13 on the season. As of April 18, St. John’s has multiple players in the top 10 of several statistical categories in the Big East, including Gretchen Bowie and Savannah Warren placing second and third in RBI, respectively. McKenzie Murray, Madison Morris and Tori Free are all on the leaderboard for ERA. Murray leads the team with a 2.78 ERA. The Red Storm faces off against New York City rival LIU Brooklyn on April 19, and follow that contest up with a key Big East series against Villanova at home that could put St. John’s further ahead in the conference.


It was Senior Day for St. John’s lacrosse, as seniors Dante Addona, Brian Gaffney, Nick Heller, Jack McClellan, Jackson O’Leary, Scott Scannell and Kyle Skramko were honored in a pre-game ceremony with family, friends and administrators before a game with the Denver Pioneers. The Johnnies closed out their last game in Queens with an 18-12 loss, highlighted by the Red Storm’s leading scorers, Heller and freshman Joe Madsen, combining for nine points and eight goals. Madsen scored on every shot he took, scoring five goals on five shots, and adding to his total of 18 goals on the season. Madsen gave the Red Storm their only lead of the day by making it 2-1 at the 3:43 mark. However, the Pioneers scored four times in the last two minutes of the first quarter, and never looked back, dropping the Johnnies to 1-11 on the season. The Red Storm face another tough opponent this Saturday, when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on Villanova, who has won three of their last four games. Their season finale is April 29 against Georgetown. JOHN CAVANAGH

Contributing Writer

Red Storm reigns in extra innings DYLAN HORNIK

Co-Sports Editor The 1980 Philadelphia Phillies earned the moniker “The Cardiac Kids” for their ability to grind out victories in close games. They led Major League Baseball with 13 wins in extra innings and finished tied for third out of 30 teams with 32 victories in games decided by one run. By October, the Phillies traded that swashbuckling nickname for something a little more formal: World Series Champions. They hoisted their first World Series trophy in franchise history by topping the Kansas City Royals in six games. Every game was decided by three runs or fewer, including a pair of one-run Phillies victories in the first and fifth games. The St. John’s baseball team has had similar success this season, taking close victories and leaving their fans’ blood pressure just a little higher than it was the day before. Through the first 31 games this spring, the Red Storm is a perfect 5-0 in extra inning games and has scratched out four wins in games decided by one run. From 20132016, Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer and his team played in six extra-inning games total. St. John’s obviously does not have the talent level that the Phillies had 27 years ago; that team boasted a trio of future Hall of Famers in Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose and

Steve Carlton. However, the roster is chock full of experienced players who undoubtedly have given the team an advantage in crunch time. Last week’s sweep of Big East rival Butler is a perfect example of this will to win when it counts. Two of the Red Storm’s three wins came in extra frames, beginning with the opener on Thursday afternoon. Three upperclassmen led the charge in the 6-2 victory, including junior Anthony Brocato’s go-ahead, bases loaded walk in the top of the 10th to give his team the lead for good. Fellow junior Jamie Galazin stretched his hitting streak to 13 games with a three-hit performance, and star senior Michael Donadio moved into the top 10 in program history in hits with an RBI single in the third. Senior catcher Troy Dixon led the charge, though, with six RBI over three games against Butler and was named Big East PLayer of the Week for his efforts. It’s not only the veterans that are getting it done, though. Freshman Sean Mooney tossed eight impressive innings in that game, and sophomore Turner French turned in a performance even more clutch. He worked around a leadoff triple in the bottom of the ninth and a bases loaded, one-out jam in the tenth during the series finale to give his team a chance

and earned a spot on the conference’s weekly honor roll. Sometimes, it just takes more than nine innings for lightning to strike for the Red Storm. French’s exploits led to a nine run 11th inning and a 12-3 victory. They’ve won three of those five extra inning games by more than one run, a figure that certainly boosts their conference-leading offense. It remains to be seen if these elevated situations will serve them well come June. The

extra experience could make them a team to beat in the NCAA Tournament, where the Johnnies will almost certainly play after the conference tournament on Memorial Day Weekend. The laborious, high-stress innings could wear the team down by the middle of next month, though, rendering their blazing start useless. If the first half of the season is any indication, though, St. John’s will find a way to win, no matter how long it takes.



April 19, 2017 | VOLUME 95, ISSUE 2 |


JohNnies add dixon st. john's lands maac freshman of the year

DERRELL BOUKNIGHT Co-Sports Editor A tweet from Twitter user @mabde33 was sent out at 2:58pm on Tuesday, April 11. There were no words, a smiley face the only character present of the 140 allotted on the popular social media outlet. 23 of his 5,108 followers retweeted him, 103 liked it and 11 responded, the first on the thread saying, “Keep it up Matt! We appreciate the hard work. #sjubb.” The man behind the tweet is St. John’s basketball assistant coach and recruiting guru Matt Abdelmassih, who serves on Chris Mullin’s staff and was named the nation’s top transfer recruiter by several ESPN college basketball experts. Abdelmassih, who graduated from St. John’s in 2007, spent five seasons at Iowa State, including four as an assistant coach. He was essential in recruiting some of the country’s top prospects, several of whom were key contributors during a run in which the Cyclones went 99-40 in his four seasons

as an assistant. Upon returning to Queens eight years later, Abdelmassih helped to assemble a young team that included transfers Durand Johnson and Ron Mvouika, as well as Big East All-Freshman Team honoree Kassoum Yakwe, who led the conference in blocks his freshman year. With star guards Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds looking to build upon their strong debut seasons, the Red Storm will anticipate incoming transfers Justin Simon and Marvin Clark Jr., who each sat out a season after transferring from nationally-recognized programs in Arizona and Michigan State, respectively. Simon, a 6-foot-5 guard from California, was a five-star recruit coming out of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he averaged 12.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a senior. It is likely that Simon will play alongside the aforementioned backcourt duo, giving Mullin’s offense another reliable scoring weapon. Clark brings an interior physical presence that St. John’s has lacked over the past cou-

ple of seasons. At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, he averaged 20 points and nine rebounds as a senior in high school. Rated a top-40 prospect in the class of 2014, Clark scored just under four points and grabbed over two rebounds in 10 minutes of play per game in his final season at Michigan State. In a recent evaluation by Bleacher Report, St. John’s ranked third in amongst Division I teams in projected impact of sat-out-a-year transfers for the 2017-2018 season. Even though the Red Storm will see three players depart from the program, Abdelmassih’s impact has kept recruits attracted to St. John’s, who increased their win total from eight in 2015-16 to 14 this year. Forward Richard Freudenberg declared his decision to play professional basketball in Germany. Senior center Darien Williams, who originally committed to Iowa State during Abdelmassih’s tenure as assistant coach and soon followed him to New York, announced his plans to play as a graduate transfer elsewhere. The biggest loss was sophomore guard Malik Ellison, who appeared in all 33 games

for the Red Storm last season, a campaign in which he averaged 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He started 35 of the 57 games in which he appeared dating back to his freshman year. Abdelmassih, however, has responded by attempting to fill the three scholarships that remain open. Just last week, the team landed former Quinnipiac guard and MAAC Rookie of the Year Mikey Dixon, who verbally committed to transfer to St. John’s. The 6-foot-2 Dixon averaged 16.5 points for the Bobcats as a freshman. Dixon announced his decision on Twitter at just before 6pm on April 11. Nearly three hours earlier, Abdelmassih tweeted the smiley face. The recruiting guru seemed to have worked his magic and discreetly told the world. In addition to Dixon, Our Savior New American center and class of 2018-commit Boubacar Diakite took an official visit to campus Easter weekend. Nikola Scekic, a 7-foot-1 center out of Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), also visited campus and met with Mullin over the weekend.

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