Stony Brook Baseball looked to bounce back from a rough home start last weekend with a three-game series against Binghamton. The series featured a wild doubleheader on Saturday, in which both teams combined to score 39 runs in 17 innings. Stony Brook dropped the second game of the doubleheader, but won the series on Sunday to improve to 9-8.
The Seawolves got off to a rocky start in the first game of the series. The team fell down 3-0 in the third inning when Bearcats senior shortstop Paul Rufo hit a solo home run to left-center off Seawolves sophomore starting pitcher Brian Herrmann. The pitcher would surrender six runs, but only three were earned due to multiple errors by his defense-extending innings.
Stony Brook took the lead back quickly, scoring five runs in the bottom of the third. Sophomore outfielder Michael Wilson delivered the big hit, knocking a two-run double to right field to tie the game at three. The team then extended the lead to 9-4 in the fourth inning, when junior outfielder Cristian Montes doubled down the third base line to bring home two runs.
Binghamton refused to fall behind so quickly. The Bearcats battled back in the seventh, scoring three runs to take a 10-9 lead. Stony Brook tied the game in the bottom half of the inning thanks to senior outfielder Andruw Gazzola’s solo home run, but Binghamton took the lead right back in the eighth, scoring two runs to hold a 12-10 lead.
Sophomore infielder Nick Grande led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, setting up Wilson’s game-tying two run homer. The Seawolves rallied for three more runs in the inning, and senior pitcher Aaron Pinto closed the door on the Bearcats to secure the 15-12 Seawolves victory.
The second game of the series started on Saturday, but had to be finished on Sunday due to lack of sunlight. Junior pitcher Bret Clarke was sharp out of the gate, retiring 12 of the first 15 batters. He was spotted a 4-0 lead by the offense, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles with one out, putting Binghamton on the scoreboard and ending his night.
Redshirt-sophomore pitcher Aaron Glickstein quickly surrendered Stony Brook’s lead. Glickstein gave up a single to Rufo to make it 4-2. Binghamton senior catcher Jason Agresti lined a ball to right-center, scoring two and tying the game up. Binghamton took the lead in the sixth, scoring two on a single by junior outfielder Anthony Meduri to make it 6-4.
Stony Brook started a rally in the seventh, as Grande led off with a double down the right field line. Grande advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a grounder from Wilson. Two batters later, Montes got on base with an infield single and advanced to second on another wild pitch. Freshman catcher John Tuccillo drove him home on a single to right field, tying the game.
The game was suspended after the eighth inning with the score tied at six and required extra innings after it resumed on Sunday. Binghamton brought home two runs in the 10th inning, the first coming when senior outfielder CJ Krowiak hit a grounder to third to score redshirt-sophomore outfielder Daniel Franchi. The second came when Meduri singled to right-center, scoring sophomore catcher TJ Wegmann.
The final game of the series concluded on Sunday, and required a late comeback from the Seawolves. Junior infielder Brandon Alamo led off with a double to left-center down 5-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning. Freshman infielder Michael Palazzolo followed up with a single through the left side, and was bunted over to second to set the Seawolves up with two runners in scoring position.
Gazzola put a ball in play in the next at-bat, hitting a grounder to shortstop that was mishandled, scoring Alamo to make it 5-4. Grande popped up to make the second out of the inning, putting the pressure on Wilson to deliver and tie the game up. Wilson delivered, smashing a three-run home run to right field and putting Stony Brook up 7-5. The bomb gave Wilson 10 RBI over the series.
“Just trying to find good pitches,” Wilson said after the game. “Put a good swing on it. The other guys helped out a little bit by getting on base.”
Head coach Matt Senk praised Wilson’s hot streak in an interview after the game, giving him credit for putting the Seawolves on top that afternoon.
“There’s a reason why he was drafted out of high school,” Senk said. “He’s got a tremendous skill set. When he really focuses, there’s no part of his game that isn’t plus. We’re lucky to have him, and obviously he came up huge in the third game to get us the series win with that big home run.”
Stony Brook will continue its home stand on Tuesday, March 20 with a single game against Manhattan at 3:30 p.m. Stony Brook won its last game against Manhattan 4-3 back on March 6.