After losing the first game of Saturday’s double header at Mahaney Diamond against Maine, Stony Brook Baseball’s starting pitching became too much for Maine to handle in the final two games of the weekend.
Anchored by strong outings from the two starting pitchers — freshman Bret Clarke and senior Tyler Honahan — Stony Brook was able to turn the series around, taking the final two games. Stony Brook improves its conference record to 11-8.
Clarke’s strong pitching performance earned him his sixth win of the season in the 8-1 Game 2 victory over the Black Bears. Clarke now has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last six starts and his 2.06 earned run average is the best in the America East.
Sophomore outfielder Andruw Gazzola was penciled into the lead-off spot in each game this series after hitting second in the batting order for most of the year. Gazzola led the offensive charge for his team in the second game with two hits, including his second home run of the season that scored two runs in the fourth inning.
In order to move Gazzola to the leadoff spot, head coach Matt Senk moved junior outfielder Toby Handley down in the order. Handley, who had led off almost every game this season for the Seawolves, responded well. Handley had two hits in the second game including a single that scored his team’s first run in the second inning.
A few batters after Handley drove in the first run of the game, freshman catcher Sean Buckhout lined a single up the middle of the infield scoring two more runs. Buckhout also scored on Gazzola’s home run later in the game en route to finishing with two hits in place of junior starting catcher David Real, who played in the first game of the day.
In Sunday’s series finale, Stony Brook’s lineup backed up Honahan’s strong pitching performance as well, but the help from his teammates was unnecessary. Honahan struck out ten batters en route to a 9-0 complete-game shutout of the Black Bears.
Senior second baseman Jack Parenty had a big game knocking in a team-high three runs including a double in the seventh inning that scored two teammates. The hit was also Parenty’s 245th of his career, which is third on Stony Brook’s all-time hit list. He trails only 2012 graduate Willie Carmona, who had 255 career hits, and 2011 graduate Chad Marshall, who had 253. Parenty has at least five more games left in his collegiate career to make a push at the record.
Just as he did in the second game of the series, Honeyman drove in his team’s first run in the first inning and would finish with two runs batted in. Honeyman had made a name for himself with his sharp defensive play at third base, but has recently shown improvement at the plate, collecting six hits in the weekend series.
While Stony Brook’s starting pitching was consistent throughout the three games, allowing a total of three runs, the lineup was not. The team failed to provide enough run support in the first game despite an eight-inning performance from senior starting pitcher Chad Lee.
After getting roughed up for nine runs allowed to Binghamton the week before, Lee bounced back to throw eight innings, allowing just two runs. Regardless, his team could not get past Maine’s pitching, losing the first game, 2-1.
The Seawolves faced Black Bears’ senior starting pitcher Logan Fullmer, who had held Stony Brook to just one run, scored on an error, when he faced the lineup in a game on April 2. Fullmer was no different on Saturday as he outdueled Lee, throwing seven innings while allowing just one run and striking out nine batters.
Stony Brook’s only run in the game came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior outfielder Casey Baker in the first inning. The lineup was unable to pierce Maine’s pitching for the remainder of the game.
Maine’s first run came in the second inning on a solo home run from senior catcher Kevin Stypulkowski. The following inning, freshman outfielder Colin Ridley drove in his team’s second run on a single to right field. That would be all the run support Maine would need on its way to defeating Stony Brook in the first game of the series.
Up next, Stony Brook will return home to Joe Nathan Field to host Albany in a three-game series to close out the regular season, beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the teams will play in a double-header on Senior Day with games starting at 12 and 2:30 p.m.