Head coach Matt Senk during a game against Hartford on April 2. Senk was suspended for the first nine games of the 2022 season by the America East on August 4. ETHAN TAM/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook baseball team will be without its head coach Matt Senk for the first nine games of the 2022 season, the America East Conference announced on Tuesday, August 4.

In a statement, the conference explained that Senk’s suspension “is in response to an incident that occurred during the 2021 season in which Coach Senk acted contrary to NCAA Baseball Rules and America East Bylaws governing conduct.”

While it remains unclear exactly how Senk violated NCAA and America East policies, the incident likely occurred after the controversial conclusion of the 2021 America East Baseball Championship.

Stony Brook led the NJIT Highlanders 1-0 in the championship round of the tournament and threatened to break the game open in the rainy third inning when they loaded the bases on three consecutive walks.

Before the Seawolves could do damage, NJIT’s head coach Robbie McClellan briefly talked to the umpires, prompting a rain delay. The rain continued, and the conference announced that the game would resume the next morning.

Several rain delays and announcements later, the America East decided that the rest of the championship could not be completed and NJIT received the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the only unbeaten team remaining despite Stony Brook winning the regular-season championship and setting records for most conference wins in a campaign.

Meanwhile, because of the America East’s controversial decision, NJIT was allowed to play in the Fayetteville Regional, where the Highlanders beat Northeastern before being eliminated from the tournament.

Following a disappointing ending to Stony Brook’s incredible 2021 season, the team’s next season will start without its head coach of 31 years.

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