Facing Binghamton — the top team in the America East standings — in a three-game series at Vestal Field, Stony Brook Baseball was unable to contain a Bearcats’ lineup that erupted to score 20 runs on the weekend, resulting in a sweep of the Seawolves.
Stony Brook entered the series in second place behind Binghamton in the conference. With the America East Tournament just weeks away, the sweep was a big blow to the Seawolves’ chances of gaining a higher seed in the tournament with just six conference games left to play. Stony Brook’s conference record falls to 9-7 on the season.
Stony Brook’s starting pitching has been its most effective weapon all season. However, the Seawolves pitching did not get off to a promising start this weekend.
In his worst game of the season, senior pitcher Chad Lee surrendered nine runs to the Bearcats in game one of the series. Lee entered the game leading the America East Conference in earned run average. Stony Brook would go on to lose to the game 11-5. Lee’s record falls to 5-3 after earning the loss.
Binghamton got the ball rolling early in the first inning when senior second baseman Reed Gamache hit a two-run home run to left field to give his team a 2-0 lead. The home run was the first that Lee had allowed since moving into the team’s pitching rotation in late March.
Gamache returned to the plate in the fifth inning to belt his second home run of the game, this time scoring three runs on the play. His home run in the fifth came after two Bearcats had already scored in the inning. He drove in two more runs the following inning to end the game with seven runs batted in. Gamache now leads the America East with 39 runs batted in.
The Bearcats’ big fifth inning gave them a five-run lead over the Seawolves.
Stony Brook struggled to match its opponent’s big run-producing innings. Despite scoring five runs in the game, the Seawolves often left several runners on base in single-run scoring innings that could have been more damaging.
Junior catcher David Real hit his second home run of the season in the seventh inning. Head coach Matt Senk has begun to use Real in the cleanup spot more regularly than freshman outfielder Dylan Resk who previously held the spot in the lineup. The cleanup spot is the fourth hitter in a lineup that is generally reserved for a team’s best run producer.
In the second game Binghamton shut out Stony Brook in a 2-0 win, allowing the Bearcats to complete the Saturday sweep of the Seawolves.
Senior starting pitcher Mike Bunal anchored the Binghamton pitching, allowing Stony Brook to scatter just five hits in the second game en route to the victory. Bunal was the winning pitcher after throwing six innings of scoreless baseball.
Stony Brook freshman starting pitcher Bret Clarke kept the game close while Binghamton limited the Seawolves’ batting. However, the run support never came despite Clarke pitching well in 5.2 innings of work while allowing just two runs. Clarke’s record fell to 5-2 with the loss.
Stony Brook left five runners in scoring position in the game.
The Seawolves found themselves in good position to begin the third game of the series. The team led 3-0 entering the fifth inning, but that was before the Bearcats’ offense erupted once again.
After not allowing a run through the first four innings, senior starting pitcher Tyler Honahan began the fifth inning with a routine fly out for the first out. But Stony Brook would see six Binghamton runners cross home plate before earning the second out of the inning. The Bearcats combined to score seven runs in a decisive fifth inning that proved fatal for the Seawolves, who lost 7-3.
Stony Brook will look to end its four-game conference losing streak next weekend at Mahaney Diamond in Orono, Maine, where the team takes on Maine in a three-game series beginning on Saturday at 3 p.m.