Due in part to the string of bad weather, the Stony Brook baseball team pounded out four games in three days, coming out victorious in 75 percent of its contests.
The first three, which took place as part of a doubleheader on Sunday and a Monday afternoon tilt, saw the Seawolves sweep the Binghamton Bearcats in their America East season opener. The next day, the Bearcats got out of town with a lone victory.
To top it off, the Seawolves ran over the Iona Gaels on Tuesday by a final of 11-2.
As Mother Nature once again intervened on Saturday, the doubleheader that was scheduled to open the Seawolves’ America East conference schedule had to be moved back to Sunday. The extra day of wait showed no ill effects for starting pitcher Tyler Honahan, who mowed through the visiting Bearcats.
Going seven strong innings of scoreless baseball, Honahan struck out five while allowing just three hits and three walks, but most importantly, he prevented any runners from crossing the plate.
It took until the bottom of the fifth for the Stony Brook bats to wake up, finally seizing the moment to strike. Junior outfielder Jack Parenty broke the deadlock with a two-RBI, bases-loaded single. It would be Parenty’s only knock of the day, but it brought the floodgates crashing down.
The final nail in the coffin came right after the seventh inning stretch, when the Bearcats quite literally gave the first half of the doubleheader away. As Binghamton made three errors in the field, the Seawolves would have four runs cross the plate on just two hits, ballooning their lead to 7-0.
Junior Chad Lee would allow three runs in the top half of the ninth to keep from shutting out the Bearcats, but he would have his redemption later in the week.
In the front end of the doubleheader, the Seawolves cruised to an 8-3 victory before strapping them back up and coming out to play game two.
The second contest would feature another Seawolves win, this time by a closer margin of 6-3.
Up until the bottom of the fifth, the two teams were locked up at three, neither willing to budge. But senior catcher Cole Peragine’s bases-loaded walk and freshman first baseman Andruw Gazzola’s two-RBI single put Stony Brook ahead for good.
Vital in securing the lead in the afternoon affair, freshman left-hander Kevin Kernan came in as relief in the top of the sixth inning to induce a double play with the bases loaded to escape a Bearcats threat. Reaping the benefits was sophomore starting pitcher Daniel Zamora, who picked up the victory.
Freshman Gazzola continued to make his transition to the collegiate level look seamless, as he reached base in six of his seven plate appearances. The left-handed batting first baseman stroked four hits to go along with two walks during Sunday’s doubleheader.
For as well as Sunday went for the Seawolves, they were blown off the field on Monday afternoon by a ferocious Bearcats club by a final of 13-2.
In pursuit of his first victory of the season, junior right-hander Tim Knesnik suffered the brunt of the Bearcats’ frustration. Recording just eight outs on the afternoon, he would allow eight runs (five of which were earned) on six hits and one walk, while striking out none.
Striking for three runs in the top of the first, the Binghamton onslaught would only truly emerge come the top of the third. With Stony Brook trailing 3-1, there was certainly no reason to believe the game would be out of reach anytime soon. But more than a half-hour later, the Bearcats were still hitting and it seemed it may never end.
Going for 10 runs on nine hits and an error, the Bearcats opened up a commanding 13-1 lead that the Seawolves never really had a chance to answer back from.
In relief of Knesnik was freshman right-hander Nicholas DiEva, who could not escape the Bearcats rapture either. While he would go 3.1 innings of not allowing an earned run, he would be responsible for being on the mound while the Bearcats hammered away any remaining hope for Stony Brook, scoring five unearned runs and pounding out seven hits. DiEva would also strikeout four and walk two, but at that point, the damage had been done.
After posting a gaudy .980 field percentage last season, sophomore shortstop Jeremy Giles had a tough go of it in the field, committing two errors on Sunday alone. The error plague was widespread, as even Peragine committed one behind the dish.
A day after getting bludgeoned, the Seawolves did some swinging of their own. Blowing the doors off the Iona Gaels, Stony Brook cruised to an 11-2 win on Tuesday afternoon.
All nine Seawolves starters would collect at least a single hit, led by junior third baseman Johnny Caputo, who would go 3-for-4 with three RBIs to pace Stony Brook.
The offensive explosion may in part have something to do with the switching of the batting order prior to Tuesday’s contest (or the fact that the Gaels were 3-15 on the season entering the game). Peragine found himself in the leadoff spot, collecting a multi-hit game, while junior second baseman Robert Chavarria also had two hits, driving in a pair of runs from the cleanup spot.
Gazzola posted a remarkable .538 (7-for-13) average for the four games, including two walks, to lead an offense that broke out in a much needed way.
With it being the Seawolves’ fourth game in three days due to the constricted schedule, their pitching staff was improvised on the fly. Normally coming out of the bullpen, junior right-hander Lee got the start and tossed three perfect innings while his offense scored him eight runs of support. It gave him his first win since 2013, when he was a freshman.
Also contributing to the effort were sophomore Cameron Stone, freshman Cole Creighton, senior Nick Brass and freshman Teddy Rodliff, who polished off the final six innings while allowing just three hits and two runs as a group.
There will be no rest for the weary Seawolves, who will have a quick turnaround and welcome in the Creighton Blue Jays on Friday afternoon for the start of a three-game series.