Last Saturday’s 7-0 win against Albany was a momentous one for the Stony Brook baseball team—not just because it was the Seawolves’ first conference win of the season, but because righty hurler Frankie Vanderka no-hit the Great Danes. This was the third time the senior sociology major has thrown a no-hitter since his freshman season in 2011.
Vanderka, who hopes to continue playing baseball after he graduates in May, pitched the first game of what would be a three-game weekend sweep for the Seawolves. He struck out 10, walked two and hit one over the course of nine innings.
A dominating force on the mound, Vanderka has a reputation for being a workhorse who has thrown many complete games during his college career. The most memorable of these, a three-hitter against LSU in 2012, sent his team to the College World Series. His other no-hitters came against NJIT on March 18, 2011 and Fordham on March 10, 2013.
After Saturday’s game, Vanderka is 2-2 on the season with a 2.48 ERA. He has struck out 31 batters over 32-2/3 innings, with opponents hitting a mere .190 against him. With his next start expected to be against Hartford this coming weekend, Catie Curatolo of The Statesman caught up with the senior before Tuesday’s NJIT game to chat about the Albany game.
CC: So tell me about Saturday.
FV: What do you want to know? Like I tell everyone else, it wasn’t just me—it’s a whole team effort. They scored seven runs, which automatically defeats a team, and me and Anthony [Italiano, the catcher] are on the same page. They played flawless defense behind me, so I can’t complain about anything they did for me.
CC: Did you know it was happening while it was happening?
FV: I always look at the scoreboard, so I kind of knew. Around the seventh inning I realized, I’ve just got to get around the order and then that’s it.
CC: How do you keep doing it?
FV: [Laughs] I don’t really know, to be honest! I guess it just kind of happens, really. Just staying simple—it’s been working for four years, so I just stick with it.
CC: How do you keep your arm healthy?
FV: Coach Marron [the Seawolves’ pitching coach] has us on a real strict day-after program after we start, so I go through that and then, I mean, our trainers are good here you know. I throw every day and it just helps me get back, like, range of motion.
CC: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
FV: Basically to win the conference and get to the regional and take it from there.