Stony Brook Baseball ended its weekend series with UMBC on a high note Sunday afternoon, earning a come-from-behind 11-6 victory the day after 9-2 and 3-1 losses.
The Seawolves got off to a less-than-desirable start in game three of the series. The Retrievers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and reinforced the advantage with a five-run third inning. Down but not out, Stony Brook surged in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs to draw within two of UMBC.
The offense continued in the fourth, when senior outfielder Andruw Gazzola scored sophomore infielder Nick Grande to make it a one-run game. Junior designated hitter Michael Russell doubled later in the inning to give his team a 7-6 lead, which the Seawolves never relinquished.
Stony Brook went on to score four more runs before the day was over, but the win was largely due to the team’s bullpen holding its own against UMBC’s batters. The Seawolves went through four pitchers in the outing, including senior pitcher Aaron Pinto, who set a new program record for saves in a single season.
“I think today was vintage Aaron,” head coach Matt Senk said after Sunday’s game. “He’s got great stuff and guys hardly ever square the ball up on him. Aaron has had a tremendous year and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader did not go as the Seawolves would have liked. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, Stony Brook was unable to score another run in the following eight frames. Their opponent had no such issues, as the Retrievers drove home nine runs in the outing.
UMBC’s first six runs of the series came in the top of the third inning. After a strong start to the game, sophomore starting pitcher Brian Herrmann immediately got into trouble. He loaded the bases with a single, a bunt and a walk to UMBC junior outfielder Raven Beeman, redshirt-senior infielder Matt Campbell and junior infielder AJ Wright, respectively. The Retrievers went on to bat around in the inning and left the side with a 6-2 lead.
Herrmann’s outing came to an end in the top of the fourth inning after the sophomore gave up a double to Wright with one out. Senior pitcher Kevin Kernan took the mound for the remainder of the game, but the Seawolves were never able to climb out of the 6-2 hole.
UMBC tacked on additional runs in the fourth and sixth innings, and capped off its offensive onslaught with Beeman’s eighth inning solo shot outside of the center field wall.
Game two did not provide the jumpstart the Seawolves were looking for.
Neither the Seawolves nor the Retrievers had success at the plate through the first three innings of game two. The teams combined for just six hits in the opening third of the game, with each of the six runners left stranded. The low scoring affair concluded at the end of the seventh inning as a 3-1 victory for UMBC.
Stony Brook once again opened the scoring in game two. The Seawolves worked their way to a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the fourth, chasing graduate starting pitcher Chase Bailey in the process.
Redshirt-sophomore pitcher Stephen Schoch took the mound in relief, but hit Grande with a pitch, advancing sophomore outfielder Chris Hamilton to home for a 1-0 Stony Brook lead. Schoch escaped the fourth inning without giving up another run and remained on the mound through the end of the game without allowing Stony Brook to score again.
UMBC did not waste time in responding. Wright mailed a home run over the left field wall, grabbing a 2-1 lead for the Retrievers in the top of the fifth inning. Senior catcher Jack Bright doubled to center in his next at-bat and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly before freshman infielder Joey Goodwin’s single sent him home for a 3-1 UMBC lead.
“You’ve got to give UMBC credit yesterday,” Senk said. “They made pitches in key moments, and they came up with timely hits and we came up a little short there. Today, despite them putting up a big number, we pitched really well, all our relievers did a great job and we got a bunch of timely hits.”
One of the more consistent Seawolves this weekend was senior infielder Bobby Honeyman. Honeyman recorded six hits in the series and was one of two Seawolves to record at least one hit in each of the three games.
“I think just staying with my approach,” Honeyman said regarding the key to his success. “Seeing good pitches to hit, not trying to do too much and not letting the score affect my at-bats even though we were down late.”
The team will have a few days off before heading to Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon for a game against Fairfield. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.