Stony Brook Baseball sophomore starting pitcher Bret Clarke underwent surgery on Monday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm and has been ruled out by head coach Matt Senk for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Clarke, who has been the the team’s Game One starter for all weekend series this season, suffered the injury in the third inning of a game against Binghamton on May 14. Senk noticed Clarke’s pitching delivery had changed in the middle of the game, prompting him to pay a visit to the mound. Clarke confirmed the discomfort and was immediately removed from the game.
“He’s gotten that fixed, and we hope to have him back by the time we start the 2018 season,” Senk said.
Clarke becomes and the third player on the team to suffer a season-ending injury, joining junior pitcher Nick Montefusco and sophomore pitcher Joe Baran on the shelf. Montefusco also underwent elbow surgery.
Clarke won the America East Rookie of the Year Award in 2016 but struggled out of the gate in 2017. Stony Brook lost six of the first seven games he started on the mound, posting a 9.74 ERA in that span.
However, the sophomore significantly improved in the second half of the season. Clarke posted a 2.10 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched from April 9 to May 6, channeling the dominance on the mound he had displayed last season. He ends the 2017 season with a 3-3 record, a 6.30 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched.
Freshman starting pitcher Brian Herrmann will take the mound for the opening game of the America East Playoffs against Hartford on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.. Herrmann is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He has 48 strikeouts in 73 innings this season. Herrmann will be followed by redshirt freshman starting pitcher Greg Marino and junior Kevin Kernan in the pitching rotation.
Kernan, who jumps in the three-man pitching rotation after Clarke became injured, had a one-hit pitching performance entering the ninth inning against UMBC on Saturday. He is the only healthy starting pitcher on the team’s roster who has experience pitching in the America East Tournament.
Clarke was unavailable to comment at the time of publication.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Nick Montefusco and Joe Baran’s last names.