All game, Stony Brook just could not manufacture a run off of Maine’s pitchers. The Seawolves failed to score in each of the three innings that they had runners in scoring position. Maine freshman closer Nick Silva had been carving through the Seawolves’ lineup — eight batters up, eight batters down — into the ninth inning as he inched closer towards an unprecedented three-inning relief appearance.
This would all change when Stony Brook third baseman Bobby Honeyman approached the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. In fact, the game would end.
On his 20th birthday, Honeyman belted a walk-off home run over the right field fence to defeat Maine 1-0 in Wednesday afternoon’s first round America East Tournament matchup at Edward A. LaLecheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.
When asked at the post-game press conference if the hit, his first career home run, served as a good birthday gift, Honeyman responded with a grin on his face and a single word: “Definitely.”
The home run produced the only run of a heated pitchers duel, through and through. Stony Brook senior starting pitcher Chad Lee delivered another shutout performance in seven innings pitched, allowing five hits and striking out five batters.
“I’ve seen this lineup twice this year,” Lee said. “I just tried to keep them guessing,”
His competition was Maine sophomore starting pitcher Logan Fullmer, who held the Seawolves to one run in two previous starts against the team combined. Fullmer continued to keep Stony Brook batters at bay, and held them scoreless through 4.1 innings pitched. He exited the game early with a back injury in the fifth inning, which was seen as a major blow to the team because of how effective he had been against the Seawolves all year.
“Neither teams’ pitchers were backing down,” Stony Brook’s head coach Matt Senk said. “I can’t be prouder of my team. I can’t be prouder for our guys”
Outside of Honeyman’s home run, the Seawolves lineup was silenced. They were held to just three hits prior to the hit. The Black Bears bullpen, led by Silva, was just as effective as Fullmer up until that one pitch changed the game.
“We always knew we were gonna come back,” Chad Lee said. “Coach always says, ‘It doesn’t matter when you get ‘em, just get ‘em’.”
The team countered Maine’s early use of Silva by utilizing its own closer, sophomore Teddy Rodliff, earlier than closers traditionally enter the game. Rodliff pitched two innings, allowing one hit and no runs while striking out four batters en route to earning his first win of the season.
The heroic Stony Brook win will give the team momentum entering Thursday afternoon’s matchup against second-seeded Hartford, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Seawolves will look to freshman pitcher Bret Clarke, the America East Rookie of the Year, to start against the Hawks.