Stony Brook Baseball’s sophomore third baseman Bobby Honeyman was at third base with one out in the final inning of the finale of the team’s first America East Conference series at Joe Nathan Field on Saturday, the second contest of the day.
“I read high chopper off the bat and figured he’d have to make the perfect play to get me out,” Honeyman said.
Junior shortstop Jeremy Giles nicked the ball to the left of Maine’s pitcher to allow Honeyman to sprint home, earning a 2-1 Stony Brook victory and series sweep over Maine. The Seawolves improved their record to 3-1 early on in conference play.
“That’s Bobby’s read,” Stony Brook head coach Matt Senk said of his player’s risky run to home plate. “That was all him.”
In addition to Honeyman’s baserunning that allowed him to score the winning run, he had the game’s only run batted in up to that point in the game by grounding out to the pitcher in the second inning, scoring junior right fielder Casey Basker. Maine held Stony Brook’s lineup in check for most of the matchup.
The Seawolves’ pitching made Honeyman’s baserunning to capture the victory possible, allowing just one run combined in both games of the doubleheader. Senior starting pitcher Tyler Honahan allowed just one run on two hits in 4.1 innings.
Senior pitcher Tim Knesnik relieved Honahan in the fifth inning with two runners on base and one out, but forced two quick outs to halt what ended up being the Black Bears’ closest attempt at gaining leverage on the Seawolves with a second run.
The Seawolves dominated on the mound in both games during the shortened series, but it was senior starting pitcher Chad Lee who set the tone for the Seawolves in the first game of the doubleheader. Lee held the Black Bears scoreless in six innings, only allowing four hits while striking out seven to collect his third win of the season.
Lee primarily served as a relief pitcher throughout his first three years with Stony Brook until Senk decided to give him a shot in the rotation. Lee also allowed no earned runs in 5.2 innings against Creighton last weekend in his first start of the season.
“He’s gone out, since we made that decision, and continued to pitch great,” Senk said. “You can make a very strong argument that he has been our best pitcher all year.”
After Lee allowed two quick hits to begin the seventh inning, sophomore pitcher Teddy Rodliff came on in relief with runners on second and third with no outs. Rodliff proved that Senk made the right decision by striking out the first two batters he faced, then forcing a groundout to strand the runners on base, ending the inning.
In the first five innings, Maine freshman starting pitcher Justin Courtney matched Lee by allowing no runs up until that point.
However, junior catcher David Real launched a one out triple against Courtney to start a Seawolves rally during which the team scored three runs. Real finished a home run shy of a cycle in the game. A cycle is when a hitter has at least one single, double, triple and home run in a single game. Senk rewarded Real by moving him up to fourth in the batting order for the second game.
Stony Brook closed the game out easily from there, piling on eight more runs before the end of the game, sealing the 11-1 victory that kicked off the doubleheader.
The final game of the weekend series against Maine was cancelled due to impending snow, providing Stony Brook with time to prepare for its home matchup against Iona on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m..