Junior outfielder Michael Wilson has had the timely sense for hitting clutch home runs so far this season. With a game-winning home run in the ninth inning already under his belt, Wilson launched a grand slam in the second game of Stony Brook’s weekend series against Southeastern Louisiana that proved to be the deciding blow.
Unfortunately for the Seawolves, that was the only game they were able to secure on the road trip. Splitting the first two games on Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23, the Seawolves dropped the finale on Sunday, Feb. 24 and walked away with a 3-3 overall record.
Southeastern Louisiana got to junior starter Greg Marino early and often in his outing on Friday. The Lions knocked in their first run of the game on a ground ball with the bases loaded in the second inning, and a pair of solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings gave them a 3-1 lead.
Marino lasted into the sixth inning, where he exited after a single and a hit by pitch that came back to haunt him. Junior pitcher Aaron Glickstein loaded the bases on a walk and allowed Marino’s inherited runners to score on a single that blew the game open.
Stony Brook did get some scoring chances, thanks in large part to senior first baseman Chris Hamilton. Hamilton got the Seawolves on top early with a solo home run in the second, and knocked in another run in the eighth by looping a single into center field. The rest of the team couldn’t get going however, and ultimately fell 7-2 after going down in order in the ninth.
The second match of the series on Saturday started off slow. Freshman infielder Evan Giordano got his first run batted in of his collegiate career with a single in the second to put the Seawolves on the board first. Then all was quiet until the fourth inning, when the Lions finally got to junior starter Brian Herrmann. Herrmann retired the first batter on a strikeout, but gave up an infield single back to himself and a single up the middle. Lions sophomore outfielder Trey Shaffer took Herrmann deep in the next at-bat, a three-run shot to right.
Just as quickly as things shifted over to Southeastern Louisiana, Stony Brook took the lead back. Senior catcher Sean Buckhout started the rally in the fifth with a single, and senior infielder Brandon Janofsky followed up with a single of his own. Junior infielder Nick Grande loaded the bases after getting hit by a pitch, and sophomore catcher John Tuccillo took a second straight plunking to push home a run.
That would be all for Lions sophomore starter Will Warren, but Wilson would give the Lions reliever a rude welcome. Wilson launched a grand slam to right-center, putting Stony Brook on top for good.
The Seawolves also got excellent relief pitching with the lead after Herrmann exited. Junior pitcher Sam Turcotte entered in the sixth inning and gave the team three innings of one-run ball, picking up four strikeouts in the process. Sophomore pitcher Connor Clark and junior pitcher Brandon Bonanno closed out the 7-4 victory, and secured the Seawolves’ lone win on the weekend.
The finale on Sunday was a rough start for junior pitcher Jared Milch. Milch was unable to make it out of the second inning in his first start of the season against Florida International, and the second inning haunted him again against Southeastern Louisiana.
Southeastern Louisiana senior outfielder Nick Pilutti and junior infielder Elijah Johnson started the inning with a pair of doubles and the bases got loaded two batters later on a hit by pitch. Redshirt freshman Connor Manola brought home the first run on a single, and senior infielder Cody Grosse slapped another single to bring home a second run. Senior infielder Brennan Breaud blasted the final blow, a two-run double over the head of the Seawolves right fielder to make it 4-0 and end Milch’s day.
Stony Brook’s offense failed to close the gap afterward, and only managed to put a runner in scoring position once, in the seventh inning. A fielding error gave the Seawolves runners on first and second with two outs, but a fielder’s choice swiftly ended the threat. The Seawolves couldn’t get another baserunner, and dropped the game 8-0.
The Seawolves will conclude their nine-game road game streak next weekend with a matchup against the No.13-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks beginning Friday, March 1 at 3 p.m. Arkansas is 5-1 this year, and will play a single game against Memphis on Wednesday, Feb. 27 before hosting the Seawolves.