For the second straight season, Matt Senk and the Stony Brook baseball team are America East regular-season champions.
The Seawolves earned their third crown in the last four years after sweeping their three-game set with the UMass Lowell River Hawks over the weekend in Lowell, Massachusetts.
This gives Stony Brook the number one seed in the America East Tournament, which is played at the same park that they swept the River Hawks this past weekend.
Stony Brook took the first two games at LeLacheur Park on Saturday afternoon by final scores of 5-3 and 9-3, before taking the Sunday finale 9-0.
The Seawolves tallied eight hits in the first matchup on Saturday, and four of them came from freshmen, as Andruw Gazzola and Bobby Honeyman combined to do that damage. They also driving in two runs and scoring four of their own.
The first of Honeyman’s RBI came in the second inning, when he singled up the middle to drive in Gazzola.
Honeyman then scored unearned on a sacrifice fly by another freshman, designated hitter Malcolm Nachmanoff.
UMass Lowell scored all three of its game one runs in their half of the third inning, taking a brief 3-2 lead before the Seawolves would tie it in the next half inning.
A two-run double by shortstop Danny Mendick highlighted the inning, tying the game at two.
Mendick then scored on a Jimmy Ricoy single to give the River Hawks a 3-2 lead.
This lead was short lived, as Stony Brook tacked on a run in the next frame, and then in the sixth and ninth to take home the victory.
In the fourth, Gazzola tripled and was then driven in by Honeyman on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at three.
The game-winning run came in the sixth, when Casey Baker tripled to right center and then scored on a Gazzola fielder’s choice to the pitcher.
Junior pitcher Tim Knesnik pitched himself back to the .500 mark with a solid seven-inning outing on the mound.
He allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out three batters and walking only a pair.
Sophomore hurler Cameron Stone came on for a two-inning save, allowing no hits or walks, and striking out three batters of his own.
Stony Brook took game two much easier, scoring two in the top of the first and the top of the third and never looking back en route to the doubleheader sweep.
Sophomore pitcher Daniel Zamora earned his fifth win of the season, throwing 6.1 quality innings.
He struck out six River Hawks batters, allowing three runs on six hits in the process.
Junior left fielder Jack Parenty’s single and senior second baseman Robert Chavarria’s sacrifice bunt each drove in a run in the first to give the Seawolves a 2-0 lead.
After UMass Lowell got a run back, Stony Brook added two more in the third via Chavarria and Gazzola singles to give the team distance at 4-1.
Jeremy Giles added more padding in the seventh inning with the first home run of his career, as the sophomore shortstop hit a two-run bomb to make it 9-1 Seawolves in the latter matchup Saturday.
Sunday was the same song and dance, as dominant pitching gave way to a controlling victory, as the Seawolves clinched the sweep.
Both pitchers, sophomore Ryley MacEachern and freshman Nick DiEva, allowed only one hit each, stimying the bats of the River Hawks.
MacEachern walked a batter and struck out five in his seven innings and when DiEva relieved him in the top of the eighth, nothing changed.
The freshman struggled with three walks, but was able to keep the River Hawks off the board.
Offensively, Baker made it 12 games in a row with a hit, as he recorded a knock in all three games this weekend, including a 3-for-5 effort in the Sunday matinee.
Gazzola and senior catcher Cole Peragine also had three hits in a game that the Seawolves outhit UMass Lowell, 15-2.
The River Hawks did not do starter Geoff DeGroot any favors, accumulating five errors.
The Seawolves will now head upstate to take on the two-time defending America East Champion Binghamton Bearcats for a three-game series in Vestal, New York next weekend.