Stony Brook Baseball, having recently won two straight series against conference opponents Binghamton and UAlbany, resumed the non-conference portion of their schedule with midweek matchups against local opponents. The Seawolves dropped Tuesday, April 23’s road contest against the St. John’s Red Storm and were blown out at home on Wednesday, April 24 against the Fairfield Stags. The two losses dropped their record to 22-14.
Tuesday’s matchup was just the second ever between Stony Brook and St. John’s. While junior infielder Nick Grande led off the game with a hit-by-pitch, he was caught stealing to erase the baserunner, helping Red Storm junior starting pitcher Nick Mondak escape the inning unscathed. St. John’s would strike first, scoring junior infielder Carson Bartels on a sacrifice fly. The Red Storm would add another run in the bottom of the second when freshman catcher Colin Wetterau drove in redshirt-sophomore catcher Ryan Hogan on an RBI groundout.
Taking the mound for the Seawolves was freshman pitcher Ben Fero, making his second career start and ninth appearance. Entering with a 1.76 ERA, Fero was relieved by junior pitcher Adam Erickson after just three innings, having allowed the two runs on five hits.
The Stony Brook offense, having been stymied by Mondak, began to stir in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Grande drew a walk while junior first baseman Chris Hamilton singled up the middle to put men on first and second. Two wild pitches from Mondak advanced the baserunners, the second permitting Grande to reach home and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Sophomore pitcher Connor Clark took over for Erickson in the bottom of the sixth, promptly allowing a walk and stolen base to his first batter, junior outfielder Andrew DuPont. With one out and DuPont on third, Clark threw a wild pitch in the dirt, allowing St. John’s to score an additional insurance run.
Stony Brook would tie the game in the top of the seventh off of St. John’s senior reliever Turner French. Senior infielder Brandon Janofsky poked the ball through the left side of the infield for a single, and Grande would walk to reach base for the fourth time in the game. Senior infielder Brandon Alamo drove a pitch to left center over the head of Red Storm junior outfielder Sean McGeehan; the 2 RBI double tied the game at three. McGeehan would redeem himself by making a diving catch with two outs that took away both a potential hit and lead-taking RBI from senior catcher Sean Buckhout.
Clark found himself in trouble quickly in the bottom of the seventh, facing runners on second and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly put St. John’s ahead 4-3, and the Stony Brook bullpen would give up two more runs in the eighth inning. The top of the lineup went down in order in the ninth, and the Seawolves would lose 6-3 to their Big East intrastate foe.
The Stony Brook offense was dormant again during Wednesday’s affair, even as junior outfielder Michael Wilson made his return to the lineup after missing the last five games. Redshirt-junior pitcher Aaron Glickstein, who earned the save after shutting down UAlbany on Sunday, made his first start of the season and second career start against Fairfield. Despite being charged with the loss, Glickstein allowed just one run in three innings pitched, allowing just three hits. A two-out single with a runner on second in the top of the first put the Stags ahead 1-0.
Another two-out single allowed Fairfield to go up 2-0 in the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, it looked as if Stony Brook offense was about to rumble. Janofsky led off the inning with a single, bringing up the top of the order with no outs and a man on first. However, Grande struck out and Hamilton grounded into a double play, ending the imminent threat quickly.
All hell broke loose in the top of the seventh, when Fairfield torched Stony Brook pitching for seven runs in the frame. Freshman pitcher Nick DeGennaro, who had relieved Glickstein, allowed a double, an RBI single, and a two-run homer before he was removed for junior pitcher Brandon Bonanno. Bonanno could not stop the bleeding, allowing four more runs to score as Fairfield went up 9–0. The inning’s last run scored when a seemingly routine pop-up to Grande was lost in the sun and dropped for a double.
Although the top of the lineup was scheduled to bat in the bottom of the ninth, head coach Matt Senk made the decision to pinch-hit for the first four batters. With two outs, senior infielder Michael Russell singled to right field and came around to score on a double by freshman catcher Cole Durkan. It was the only run the Seawolves would muster in a crushing 9–1 defeat. Grande’s 29-game on-base streak came to an end.
Stony Brook now has an 11-game road trip in front of them, starting with a three-game series against UMBC. The series is scheduled to be broken up into a Saturday doubleheader and a single Sunday game. The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. at Baseball Factory Field in Baltimore, Maryland.