After a hot start, scoring two runs in the first two innings, the Stony Brook baseball team had to toughen up and grind through the final seven innings en route to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night at Joe Nathan Field.
“This game was about pitching and defense,” said anager Matt Senk, whose team improved to 8-0 at home this season. “Their guy did a very good job,” referring to Bears pitcher John Dugan, who went seven innings only allowing the Seawolves four hits.
Robert Chavarria singled with one out in the bottom of the first, and then would make his way to third after stealing second and getting the extra base when the ball skidded into center field. Kevin Krause then drove in the game’s first run when he drove a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Seawolves quickly doubled their lead in the second when Cole Peragine walked, and three batters later scored on a Dugan wild pitch to give his team a 2-0 lead after two.
It looked like the home team was going to run away and hide, but NYIT quickly answered in the top of the third when Anthony Martelli’s RBI double to left scored Frank Sanacore to cut the lead in half.
Dugan then settled into a groove, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters he faced.
The Bears did the opposite, putting runners on first and second in the fifth with one out, but failing to tie the game.
They would tie it in the sixth, though. Stony Brook starter Tim Knesnik walked his first two batters faced in the sixth and would be replaced by Bryan Tatelman. He could not get out of the jam. NYIT scored with Robert Fiato’s sacrifice fly to right field, bringing home Josh Canabal.
The Seawolves would answer in the bottom of the sixth, when Kevin Krause hit his second sacrifice fly of the game. This time he scored Joshua Mason for the game-winning run.
“We tell our guys that when a team scores you answer right back,” Senk said. “This time, it not only gained us momentum, it got us the lead.”
Two crucial defensive plays saved the lead for Stony Brook. The first came in the seventh, when Sanacore doubled to start the inning and then Martelli sacrificed him over to third with one out. Joe Daru then grounded the ball to second baseman Robert Chavarria, and instead of getting the routine out at first, he fired the ball home to catcher Anthony Italiano to get Sanacore out at home.
The next inning the Bears had another threat brewing when Nick Sebastian walked to start the inning. Two pitches later, Louis Mele popped up a bunt to third baseman Johnny Caputo, who then threw a strike to first baseman Kevin Courtney to double off Sebastian for the second out in the inning.
Tatelman then retired the last four batters he faced for his first win of the season.