Coming out of Friday’s 3-0 shutout loss to North Carolina State, the No. 3 Stony Brook Seawolves were looking for a victory in their elimination game against Sacred Heart on Saturday.
It did not take them long. The Seawolves scored nine runs in the first three innings, including five in the first, in an 11-6 victory over the fourth-seeded Pioneers in the Fort Worth Regional of the 2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
With the loss, the Pioneers are eliminated from the tournament and are now 0-7 in NCAA Tournament games.
The Seawolves started with RBI singles by senior second baseman Robert Chavarria and sophomore first baseman Casey Baker to get the team on the board. Once Chavarria scored to make it 3-0, Mother Nature decided to break up the game with a 43-minute rain delay.
That did not help Sacred Heart’s starter, sophomore pitcher Jason Foley, collect himself. Freshman designated hitter Malcolm Nachmanoff drove in a pair of runs with a base hit after the rain subsided to finish the scoring in the inning for Stony Brook.
Baker, who finished with four RBI on the game in four at-bats, took junior reliever Dan Wertz deep for his eighth home run of the year in the second inning, and the Seawolves extended their lead to 7-0.
Chavarria finished the day with two RBI, adding another squeeze bunt in the third as he did in the first.
The second run in the third inning and ninth of the game came off of Baker’s bat, with a sacrifice fly to right field to score sophomore center fielder Toby Handley.
The Seawolves’ pair of runs in the third answered Sacred Heart’s comeback attempt in that same inning that accounted for two runs.
This attempt made it 9-2 Stony Brook after a third of the game had been played.
Sacred Heart was able to rally together, eventually cutting the lead to five after the eighth inning, but leaving 14 runners on base eventually caught up to the fourth-seeded Pioneers.
In the eighth inning, junior first baseman Victor Sorrento lined out to center on a sacrifice fly, scoring a run. Two batters later, freshman catcher Cody Doyle singled through the left side of the infield to plate a run with the bases loaded. The next hitter, senior left fielder Keaton Flint, grounded out to Chavarria at second base and that also scored a run.
But a line out to Chavarria by the next batter, sophomore second baseman Ted Shaw, ended things for the Pioneers.
Struggles were imminent, as the Pioneers finished 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position, while Stony Brook was able to cash in on these opportunities, going 8-for-23.
Junior leftfielder Jack Parenty finished the day 3-for-5, ending his perfect run of seven straight plate appearances where he had reached base.
Along with Baker, Chavarria and Parenty, all nine Stony Brook batters recorded a hit on the afternoon, with seven Seawolves tallying a multi-hit game.
This was on a day where both teams combined for 32 hits, which is more than the two first-round games on Friday combined.
Additionally, both teams were shut out in their first games, adding to the offensive-surprise that poured on Charlie and Marie Lupton Stadium.
Freshman third baseman Bobby Honeyman was able to record an RBI in the sixth inning on a base hit that scored sophomore shortstop Jeremy Giles. He joined Baker, Chavarria and Nachmanoff as the only four batters to drive in a run.
Aside from coming into the game at a .245 average as a team and hitting .395 today, the name of the game today for the Pioneers was converting opportunities. However, they were not able to do so with the exception of the eighth inning.
Sacred Heart had another opportunity against junior starting pitcher Tyler Honahan in the fifth inning, loading the bases with no outs. But the veteran starter did not panic, striking out the next batter and then inducing fly outs by the next two to get out of the jam.
Honahan finished the day pitching only four innings and allowing 11 hits, but only surrendering three runs.
Stony Brook will play the loser of the matchup between the top-seeded Texas Christian University and second-seeded North Carolina State, whom the Seawolves already lost to in this regional, on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in another elimination game.