The Stony Brook Baseball team found it difficult to succeed against Sacred Heart’s pitching throughout the first eight innings of its game on Tuesday afternoon at Joe Nathan Field. That would all change in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Senior second baseman Jack Parenty, the defending America East Conference Player of the Year, blasted a double to deep left center field allowing two teammates to score and give Stony Brook a 3-2 lead.
The double would prove to be the turning point in the Seawolves’ 4-2 win over the Pioneers. Stony Brook improved its record to 8-9, including a perfect 5-0 at home.
Parenty is showing why he was named the best player in the conference in 2015 after getting off to a slow start in 2016. He now has hit safely in seven of his last 14 at bats, including five RBIs.
“He made a little adjustment in batting practice,” head coach Matt Senk said. “The way he hit that last ball was kind of what we were talking about during practice.”
Sophomore first baseman Andruw Gazzola, recipient of last week’s America East Player of the Week, began the eighth inning rally with a double. Junior centerfielder Toby Handley hit a bunt single to set the stage for Parenty’s decisive two-run double. Gazzola’s timely double extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The Seawolves faced Pioneers sophomore starting pitcher James Taubl, a lefty. Senk said that because his team was facing a lefty, Gazzola, also a lefty, batted lead off ahead of Handley, who typically is the first hitter in the lineup.
Taubl kept Stony Brook at bay, allowing just three hits and one run while striking out four in six innings of work.
Junior pitcher Connor Doyle started for the Seawolves, but only pitched two innings to allow other pitchers who did not get to pitch in last weekend’s shortened series against UMBC to play, according to Senk.
Freshman pitcher Tim Kranz performed well, freezing Sacred Heart’s runners at second and third base in the fifth inning by striking out the next two batters to end the threat.
After playing left field in Saturday’s game against the Retrievers, the freshman pitcher threw the final two innings against the Pioneers to close out the game and earn his first collegiate win.
Stony Brook heads to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, the site of the College World Series, to play Creighton in a three game series beginning on Friday.