Already holding a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, Shaw’s shot to left field with the bases loaded elevated the Red Storm’s lead to 7-0 over the Seton Hall Pirates, and ultimately served as the final nail in the Big East coffin, giving the Red Storm a record ninth conference championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
And it was only hours after the first game between the two teams, where Seton Hall dominated en route to a 19-2 victory, forcing a winner-take-all game to cap-off the four-team double elimination tournament.
“It means a lot, especially after a tough loss like that,” said Red Storm sophomore Jeff Belge, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the 7-0 victory and ended the game with just two hits allowed.
Prior to the Fox Sports 2-aired final, the Red Storm were the lone undefeated team (2-0) in the tournament. The Pirates, who lost their first game in the tournament to Butler, won two straight and earned a trip to the finals with St. John’s.
Shaw finished 3-for-3 and also scored two runs. Wyatt Mascarella added a 3-for-4 showing, including a double, while Big East Player of the Year John Valente added two based hits and an RBI.
Four members of the Red Storm were named to the All-Tournament Team: Belge, Shaw, Luke Stampfl and Jamie Galazin. Belge also took home the Jack Kaiser Award as the most outstanding player of the tournament.
In the 19-2 victory earlier in the afternoon, Seton Hall was led by the blistering offense of Rob Dadona, Ryan Ramiz and Christian Del Castillo.
Dadona went 4-for-5 from the plate, finishing with three RBIs. Ramiz went 3-for-6 and paced the team with 4 RBIs while Del Castillo went 2-for-5 and added three RBIs.
In game one, the Pirates had 26 hits.
On Monday afternoon, it was announced that the Red Storm, a three-seed in the Clemson Regional, will play Vanderbilt in round one of the NCAA Tournament Friday at noon.
The Red Storm have not reached the College World Series (NCAA baseball’s final eight) since 1980, the most recent of six trips.
With Sunday’s victory, St. John’s now has their sixth Big East Title since 2005 and they’ll be competing in their 37th NCAA Tournament, tied for the eighth-highest total in the history of collegiate baseball.
Overall, St. John’s has now won nine Big East crowns, far and away the most in league history. No current member of the conference has claimed more than three.