St. John’s baseball: Joe Panik on hot streak for Blue Jays in playoff push

Former St. John's baseball star Joe Panik. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Former St. John's baseball star Joe Panik. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Former St. John’s baseball standout Joe Panik has caught fire for the Toronto Blue Jays in its push to the playoffs.

In a shortened Major League Baseball season, former St. John’s baseball standout Joe Panik came out of the gates slow after signing late into the offseason with the Toronto Blue Jays, but as the calendar turned to September, Panik’s bat as come alive.

In a rare five game series with the Boston Red Sox, Panik saw his best game of the season on Sunday but a major milestone earlier in the set of games.

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Thursday night the former Red Storm star drove in his first run of the season with a single to center field that got the Blue Jays on the board in the seventh inning, which resulted in a 6-2 victory in ten innings.

Panik finished the ball game 2-for-4 with one RBI, one walk, and one strikeout, but he improved his batting average to .234 following the game.

In a doubleheader on Friday, Panik played the first game and again drove in a run with a single to right field in the sixth inning that gave Toronto a 6-4 lead.

The Blue Jays went on to win the game 8-7, in what was played as a Toronto home game because of previous rain out, but Panik again boosted his average with a 1-for-2 day with that one RBI, one run scored, and one walk.

After sitting the second game of the twin bill, Panik was back in the starting lineup and the hot streak continued with a 2-for-5 outing, with a double and RBI.

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Panik’s RBI came on his extra-base hit in the seventh inning which gave the Blue Jays a 7-6 lead but the Red Sox were able to walk-off Toronto thanks to a solo home run by Xander Bogaerts and fielders choice by Yairo Munoz.

Looking to win the series on Sunday afternoon, it was Panik again who came up big for the Jays, going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, two walks, and run scored as Toronto won the series with a 10-8 victory.

Entering the fifth inning trailing 4-1, Panik drove in his two runs with a single to right field that tied things up at four as he later came around to score in that inning, making the score 7-4 Blue Jays.

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Joe Panik is now hitting .500 in the month of September and .270 on the season.

Currently holding a playoff position in the American League with its second place standing in the East Division, the Toronto Blue Jays will arguably play in its three biggest games of the season to date, as the team will head back “home” to Buffalo to play the struggling New York Yankees in a three-game series starting Monday night.