Following two home wins against Saint Peter’s and Villanova at Joe Nathan Field on Friday and Saturday, the Stony Brook Baseball team stumbled in a loss to Fordham at Houlihan Park on Sunday. The team managed to get back on track on Tuesday with a win back on Long Island against Iona.
Stony Brook took advantage of five wild pitches from Saint Peter’s junior starting pitcher Jake Regina to cruise in its first game of the weekend. The wild pitches allowed the Seawolves to run rampant on the basepaths all game, leading them to a 7-3 victory over the Peacocks.
Peacock pitchers could not catch a break, as they were called for two balks, illegal motions by the pitcher, in the game, a rather uncommon occurrence in a single baseball game.
Opposing pitchers getting wild with their command is dangerous against a patient Stony Brook team. The Seawolves led the America East Conference in walks last season.
The Seawolves finished with six walks on the day. This put them in position to capitalize on Regina’s mistakes and continuously move runners into scoring position.
“We were disappointed in our base running when we were down in Texas to play Baylor,” Stony Brook Manager Matt Senk said. “We worked on it and it was good to see it much improved today.”
Though it was largely a team effort, junior outfielder Casey Baker stood out among the pack. The Seawolves’ cleanup hitter reached base in all four plate appearances on two hits and two walks while scoring two runs, batting a runner in and stealing a base.
Stony Brook’s offense was able to operate without any pressure from the opposing team as freshman pitcher Bret Clarke performed well on the mound. Clarke pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out four to improve his record to 2-0 on the season. The freshman now leads Stony Brook starting pitchers with a 2.31 earned run average.
Stony Brook followed up Friday’s victory at home by hosting Villanova of the Big East Conference. Up 4-3 in the fifth inning with two runners on, freshman utility player Dylan Resk hit a towering double to deep left center to score two runs and the Seawolves never looked back in their 8-3 victory over the Wildcats.
“With a man on second and third, I knew that this at bat I had to get it done,” Resk said.
Senior relief pitcher Chad Lee kept the Wildcats at bay, tossing three scoreless innings. The senior currently leads the Seawolves bullpen in strikeouts and innings pitched.
Despite leading 7-3 entering the eighth inning, Villanova formed the beginnings of a potential rally with men on first and second base with only one out. Junior outfielder Donovan May, who was already responsible for driving in two of the Wildcats’ runs, was at the plate.
May powered the ball to the left side of the infield, but Seawolves third baseman Bobby Honeyman dove to corral the ball. He swiftly emerged from the dirt, stepped on third for the force out, then threw the ball to first base to complete a double play to get his team out of the jam.
“I tried to keep it simple,” Honeyman said. “I was lucky enough for the ball to bring me right to the bag, stepped on it and threw him out at first.”
It was not just Honeyman’s glove that came through on Saturday. He finished with one hit, two walks, a stolen base and he scored two runs. Honeyman is batting .333 on the season with five runs batted in.
“Over this twelve game stretch, he’s easily been our best player,” Senk said.
The good start to the weekend did not continue into Sunday’s game against the Fordham Rams in a 6-1 loss in the Bronx.
Senior starting pitcher Tyler Honahan allowed just one hit through his first three innings. However, Fordham’s junior infielder Matthew Kozuch belted a home run to lead off the fourth inning, and the Rams would go on to score five more runs in the inning.
The Seawolves scored just once against Rams senior pitcher Jimmy Murphy despite tallying nine hits. The run was produced by Resk on a single to center field.
“Everyone is really on the right mindset heading into conference play next weekend,” Clarke said. “It’s time to buckle down and do what we have to do.”
Before that, however, outfielder Toby Handley drove the ball to deep left centerfield for a triple in Stony Brook’s first at-bat of the game against Iona on Tuesday. The next hitter, sophomore infielder Andruw Gazzola, hit a two-run home run — the first of his collegiate career — over the right field fence.
The team piled on four more runs in the first inning on its way to an 11-2 win at Joe Nathan Field. The 11 runs scored tied the team’s season-high for most runs in a game.
Senior infielder Johnny Caputo’s two-run single in the first inning was only part of a game-high four-RBI day. Caputo missed the team’s previous three games with a leg injury he suffered at Bowling Green.
Junior pitcher Connor Doyle picked up his first win of the season. Doyle pitched three innings pitched, struck out five and allowed just two hits. It was his first solid start in 2016 after missing all of 2015 following Tommy John surgery.
Resk managed two hits after being named the America East Player of the Week on Monday. The hot-hitting freshman is now batting .615 over his last four games.
Senior Jack Parenty, the defending America East Player of the Year, has played his last five games at second base. He played the position for the majority of his high school career according to his former high school coach Bob Malandro, but has spent much of his collegiate career in the outfield.
Stony Brook will begin its conference schedule this upcoming weekend as it takes on UMBC. Last season, the Seawolves defeated the Retrievers to capture the 2015 America East title.