The Stony Brook baseball team hosted Bryant and UMass at Joe Nathan Field over the weekend in their final non-conference games of the regular season. The team took both games against Bryant on May 4 and 6 and dropped May 5’s game against UMass, capitalizing on bursts of scoring and home runs in their wins.
The first game of the weekend on Friday featured a marvelous pitching performance from sophomore starting pitcher Greg Marino. Marino tossed seven innings, allowing four hits to the Bulldogs before exiting in the eighth inning with a runner on. The leftover runner eventually scored against sophomore pitcher Aaron Glickstein for the Bulldogs’ lone run in the game.
Stony Brook’s offense was stymied by Bryant junior starting pitcher Steve Theetge early on. The left-hander held Stony Brook scoreless through the first four innings but quickly got into trouble in the fifth. Sophomore outfielder Chris Hamilton led off the inning with a home run to right field, breaking a scoreless tie. Stony Brook loaded the bases after a strikeout, and junior infielder Brandon Janofsky singled home another run to make it 2-0.
The Seawolves put the game away in the seventh inning, exploding for four runs. Junior outfielder Dylan Resk drove a one-out double down the left field line, scoring sophomore outfielder Michael Wilson. Janofsky then lifted a sacrifice fly to left center to score a second run. Senior outfielder Andruw Gazzola delivered a single up the middle to drive home two more runs, giving the Seawolves a 6-0 lead.
Stony Brook went back to the bats one more time in the eighth inning. Hamilton led off the inning with a double to right-center, and Wilson drove him home on a double down the right-field line after a walk from junior designated hitter Michael Russell. Resk singled home Wilson and Russell two batters later, giving Stony Brook a 9-1 lead which would become the final score.
The second game of the weekend on Saturday was decided in the final innings. Sophomore starting pitcher Brian Herrmann couldn’t escape the fifth inning, and the Seawolves trailed 4-1 after six innings. Hamilton led off the seventh inning with a triple to center field and junior infielder Brandon Alamo lifted a sacrifice fly to left, closing the gap to 4-2.
UMass errors helped the Seawolves get closer in the eighth inning. Janofsky began the inning with a single and attempted to steal second base. The throw to second went into the outfield, allowing Janofsky to reach third. The subsequent throw to third went wide as well, scoring Janofsky and making it 4-3 Minutemen. The two errors drew Stony Brook within one run, but the team went down in order in the ninth inning.
Stony Brook briefly held the lead in Saturday’s game. Alamo hit a one-out single to left field in the second inning and scored on a triple from Wilson in the next at-bat.
The final game of the weekend on Sunday capped off the Seawolves’ non-conference schedule in dramatic fashion. Resk slammed a one-out, two-run home run to left field in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie. Senior closing pitcher Aaron Pinto completed a four-inning relief appearance in the ninth with a 5-4-3 double play to secure a 5-3 Stony Brook victory.
Pinto came on in relief of junior starting pitcher Bret Clarke in the sixth inning after a leadoff single. Pinto was uncharacteristically off with his command, walking the first batter he faced on five pitches. The senior made things worse for himself, botching a throw to first on a bunt in the next at-bat, allowing the runner from second to score and tie the game. Senior outfielder Malik Daley struck out two batters later, but the ball was dropped allowing Daley to reach base and another run to score, giving Bryant a 2-1 lead.
The Seawolves fought back in the seventh inning on another blast. Sophomore infielder Nick Grande hit a one-out single through the left side and stole second base to put himself in scoring position. Senior infielder Bobby Honeyman scored Grande along with himself, drilling the second pitch he saw to right field and giving the Seawolves a 3-2 lead.
The lead briefly disappeared in the eighth inning. Pinto allowed the leadoff man to reach on a walk and advance to second on a ground ball that narrowly avoided his glove. Sophomore catcher Gaby Cruz singled down the right-field line, scoring the runner and knotting the game at three. Resk’s blast in the bottom of the inning restored Stony Brook’s lead, which the team would never surrender.
The Seawolves improved to 26-20 over the weekend, guaranteeing at least a .500 record in the regular season. The team’s final homestand will be on May 12-13 with a series against first-place Hartford, before going on the road for the season finale against UMass Lowell.