The Seawolves Baseball team came into the series with a one-game lead over the Hartford Hawks in the America East three weeks before the conference tournament. After slipping in game one 2-1, Stony Brook was able to salvage the series and a share of the lead by taking the nightcap Saturday 11-3 and the Sunday game 4-1.
Alex Calbick started the scoring for the Black Bears in game one when he homered to right field off Seawolves starter Frankie Vanderka in the top of the fourth.
Vanderka let up seven hits on the day, while only striking out two batters as he battled for six innings.
Maine then doubled the lead in the next frame. Luke Morrill started the top of the fifth with a single to left field. Two batters later, he was on third when Sam Balzano singled through the left side, scoring Morrill and making it a 2-0 game.
Stony Brook would try to rally in the bottom of the sixth, but only cut the lead in half. Kevin Courtney started the rally with a single to right field with one out. After Cole Peragine struck out, Courtney was able to steal second while the next batter, Casey Baker was at the plate.
This was the start of Baker’s Rookie of the Week worthy series, as he roped a double down the left field line, making the lead to 2-1. “Casey has been terrific for us,” coach Matt Senk said. “He has been as clutch as anybody on the team.”
The Seawolves were not able to score again on Maine starter Tommy Lawrence, as he held the Seawolves to the lone run while claiming seven strikeout victims.
Game two was the complete opposite for the Seawolves, as the offense unloaded for five in the first, and eleven in the game.
Cole Peragine scored Kevin Krause and Robert Chavarria, putting Stony Brook up 2-0.
Courtney then scored on a wild pitch, and Peragine was driven in by Baker’s RBI triple, making it 4-0.
Johnny Caputo’s sacrifice fly to center then made it 5-0.
But they were not able to stop the bleeding for long.
The Seawolves were able to put three more on the board in the bottom of the second, with two RBI singles by Krause and Peragine.
Baker’s sacrifice fly also added a run in the inning, making it 8-0.
Peragine and Baker both finished with three RBI’s in the second game, and the Seawolves, after adding one in the fourth and two more in the fifth were on their way to a victory, up comfortably 11-3.
Other than that inning, it was a good day for the Seawolves offense and their starter Brandon McNitt. He improved to 5-1 on the season by striking out seven batters and only walking two.
Game three started just like game one did, with not a lot of offense, for the Seawolves at least. “We came out flat,” coach Senk said.
The Black Bears were able to put a lot of pressure on Seawolves, loading the bases in the second, third and fifth, all with one out in the inning.
Starter Tyler Honahan stayed composed, however, and worked out of the jams. He walked two of the three base runners aboard in all three innings.
Honahan worked out of them calmly, including striking out the final two batters in the third and the fifth. These were four of his nine strikeouts on the day.
“It’s hard enough to get away with it one time, never mind three,” Senk said.
Steven Adam broke the ice in the sixth, with a single to left field, scoring Scott Heath and putting Maine up 1-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Jeff Gelinas was working a no-hitter but Kevin Krause broke that with a one-out double that landed five feet below the top of the fence.
Casey was then clutch again. Baker singled in Krause to tie the game with a hard grounder up the middle. “Tying the game helped the momentum shift,” Senk said.
Cole Peragine then gave the Seawolves the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth, when a line drive to center field was just out of the reach of center fielder Colin Gay, and bounced over his glove to the center field wall.
Krause and Courtney both scored on the play, and Stony Brook had the lead 3-1. Baker was the next man up, and he put an exclamation point on his sensational weekend with another triple, scoring Peragine and making it 4-1.
Cameron Stone then came in to get the final three outs in the ninth for his eighth save of the season, ensuring the Seawolves a top spot in the conference at the series’ end.