Fueled by the offense’s 48 runs in 30 innings, Stony Brook’s baseball team swept a four-game series against its first America East opponent, the Albany Great Danes from Friday, March 26 to Sunday, March 28.
The weekend started with a bang as Stony Brook won a 14-11 game in which at least one run was scored in every inning except one. The Seawolves started the scoring in the first when sophomore catcher Shane Paradine — playing as the designated hitter — doubled in senior catcher John Tuccillo with two outs.
In the second inning, two more runs scored on a two-out double from junior infielder Evan Giordano. Graduate first baseman Chris Hamilton then tripled to center field to drive in Giordano and give Stony Brook a 4-0 lead.
The Great Danes got a run back in the third inning, but Stony Brook answered with two runs in the fifth inning on a single from sophomore infielder Brett Paulsen to take a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Great Danes took advantage of an infield error and strung together four consecutive singles to score three runs and cut Stony Brook’s lead to 6-4.
The Seawolves came right back in the top of the sixth to deliver what seemed to be a knockout blow. Giordano was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and scored when Hamilton hit a homerun to left center field. Tuccillo then followed with a solo home run of his own to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 9-4.
Senior pitcher Jared Milch exited after striking out seven and allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings. Freshman pitcher Brendan Pattermann replaced him and allowed a leadoff single to start the bottom of the seventh. After walking the next three batters and allowing a run, Pattermann was replaced by junior pitcher Kyle Johnson.
Entering with the bases loaded and no outs, Johnson managed to get two clean outs but allowed two runs on a single to left field by the Great Danes’ redshirt-junior outfielder Josh Loeffler.
After Hamilton scored on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth, Johnson returned to the mound to try to preserve Stony Brook’s 10-7 lead. Three doubles and two walks later, the Great Danes had tied the game at 10-10 with one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth.
Stony Brook turned to senior pitcher Brian Morrisey, who struck out the first batter he faced. Before he struck out the next batter to end the inning, the runner on third scored on a wild pitch to give Albany an 11-10 lead heading into the ninth.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as junior right fielder Cole Durkan homered on the first pitch of the ninth inning to tie the game back up. Later in the inning Giordano reached on an infield single and Tuccillo was intentionally walked. With two outs and the game still tied, Paradine doubled to left field, scoring both runners. Freshman second baseman Evan Fox followed with an RBI single to give the Seawolves a 14-11 lead.
“I was looking for a pitch I could hit hard to get the inning going,” Durkan said in a press release. “When I saw it, I just put a good swing on it. It was really an exciting moment. I think we fed off of that energy as a team, which led us to scoring a few more runs.”
Morrisey returned for the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side to end the shootout and earn the win.
The Seawolves kept their offensive momentum going in Saturday’s doubleheader, and scored a combined 23 runs in 14 innings.
Stony Brook scored the first run of game one, a 9-3 win, on a sacrifice fly from Tuccillo in the third inning, but they did most of their damage in the fifth when they put together a six run two-out rally.
Paradine plated the first run of the fifth on a double to left field and Tuccillo scored on a walk with the bases loaded. One run was scored on a throwing error by Albany redshirt-junior catcher Josh Gurnak, two were scored on an error by redshirt-freshman pitcher Cregg Scherrer, and the inning’s final run was scored on a passed ball.
Already up 7-1, Stony Brook scored two more in the sixth on another passed ball and a double by Fox.
Graduate pitcher Sam Turcotte was dominant, allowing only one run in six innings while striking out ten. He was replaced in the seventh inning by graduate pitcher Adam Erickson, who allowed two runs but earned the save.
Game two of the doubleheader followed a similar structure to Friday’s game, with both teams exchanging leads and Stony Brook prevailing with a late offensive explosion to win 14-6.
Giordano scored on a fielder’s choice in the first inning before the Seawolves scored another three in the second. With two outs, sophomore outfielder Derek Yalon doubled in his first two RBIs of the season and later scored on a double by Giordano.
The Great Danes scored an unearned run in each of the third and fourth innings and entered the fifth down 4-2. Redshirt-senior pitcher Brian Herrmann allowed a single and a triple to start the inning and was replaced by Morrisey, who struggled to limit the damage. Morrisey hit the first batter he faced before two runs scored on two infield singles. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly and the Great Danes exited the inning with a 6-4 lead.
The Seawolves took a cue from the first game of the doubleheader and put together a six run sixth inning. Graduate outfielder John LaRocca singled in Paradine for the first run. After Durkan was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Yalon walked to score another run. LaRocca then scored on a passed ball before Hamilton singled in Durkan and Yalon. Giordano scored the last run of the inning on a single by Tuccillo to take a 10-6 lead.
Stony Brook was not done yet, as they scored another four runs in the seventh for insurance. Durkan hit an RBI double to left center and later scored on a single by Giordano. Tuccillo plated his third and fourth RBI of the game on a single to right field to cap Stony Brook’s scoring.
Sophomore pitcher Devin Sharkey threw a clean bottom of the seventh to seal the win, Stony Brook’s third of the weekend.
“Winning the first three games of the series is a credit to the guys’ hard work in practice and their resilience and competitiveness from first pitch to final out,” head coach Matt Senk said in a press release. “The biggest improvement has clearly been offensively, which again is a credit to the hitters who have worked diligently on making improvements not only to their swing, but also their mental approach.”
Stony Brook’s bats remained wide awake for the final game of the series despite Sunday’s start time being pushed up to 9 a.m. to avoid rain. They powered their way to an 11-0 win, the team’s second shutout of the season.
Paradine got the Seawolves on the board in the first inning with a 2-RBI single to left field. Stony Brook had a 4-0 lead by the end of the second inning thanks to a sacrifice groundout by Giordano and a sacrifice fly by Hamilton.
In the third inning, the Seawolves took advantage of two Albany errors and scored seven unearned runs on another incredible two-out rally.
The rally started when Yalon hit a ground ball to shortstop for what should’ve been the final out of the inning, but freshman infielder Alex Ungar dropped the throw, allowing Yalon to reach first and Fox to score from second.
Yalon later scored when Giordano walked with the bases loaded before Hamilton singled in another two runs. Tuccillo plated Giordano with a single to left field for the fifth run of the inning. Hamilton and Tuccillo scored the final runs on Paradine’s single down the left field line.
“I was excited for this weekend, especially because it’s our first conference weekend,” Paradine said in a press release. “Our lineup from top to bottom did a tremendous job. I was happy to come through for my teammates when they needed me.”
Junior pitcher Nick DeGennaro threw six shutout innings before the game was called in the bottom of the seventh due to heavy rain.
“All week [pitching coach Tyler Kavanaugh] and I have been working really hard to get my slider back to the out pitch it’s been, and today the hard work really showed,” DeGennaro said in a press release. “The offense picked up where it left off, putting runs on the board early, which helped me pitch with a lot of confidence and pitch to my strengths.”
Stony Brook’s 48 runs were the most in a four-game stretch since their 50 runs in April 2011. The dominant performance is especially impressive considering that the Seawolves’ offense has struggled with consistency early this season and combined for 38 runs in its previous 11 games.
Stony Brook is now 8-7 overall and 4-0 against America East opponents.
The Seawolves will return to Joe Nathan Field for a four game series against the 6-2 Hartford Hawks on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3.