It wound up being another successful weekend for the Stony Brook baseball team, as it won its third series in a row to begin the conference season. After opening the weekend on a disastrous note, the Seawolves (12-14, 7-2 AE) swept a doubleheader to take two of three games from Hartford.
Game one was a trainwreck for Stony Brook, who came into the game 5-1 and tied for first place with NJIT. Hartford, meanwhile, was 1-5 and tied for last place with Binghamton. However, games are not won on paper and Hartford swiftly knocked off Stony Brook 10-3. Ben Fero had his second consecutive blowup start, inflating his ERA to 5.13.
Stony Brook was never truly in game one, as it was behind 5-0 after three innings. Catcher Kevin Koziol opened the scoring with an RBI double in the bottom of the second and was immediately followed with a two-run homer from left fielder Ryan Knight. In the next inning, right fielder Men Maycock hit a two-run homer to give Hartford its five-run lead.
Stony Brook made it a game in the top of the fourth when left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring lifted his third home run of the year. Freshman infielder Matt Miceli, making his first career start at third base, later reached on an error to score the third run of the inning. It was 5-3 heading to the bottom of the fourth.
However, Hartford blew the doors off in the fifth. Now facing reliever Kyle Johnson, Hartford erupted for five runs to make it 10-3. The big inning was carried by a pair of two-run homers from designated hitter Brett Anderson and Knight, in that order. It was Knight’s second home run of the day and Hartford’s fourth as a team.
Staked to a seven-run lead, reliever Robert Chaney went the rest of the way for Hartford, pitching five scoreless innings out of their bullpen to secure Hartford’s 10-3 victory. Chaney only allowed two hits and one walk, while striking out five.
Game two came as the opener of a Saturday doubleheader between these two teams. Stony Brook won 9-5, but it took all nine innings to get the victory.
Starting pitcher Brandon Lashley was coming off the best start of his career but was roughed up by the Hawks’ lineup. He gave up four earned runs on five hits in just 3.2 innings, striking out three and walking four.
Luckily, the Seawolves’ offense came to play in support of Lashley. They drew first blood with a Brown-Eiring RBI single in the top of the first. Then, shortstop Stanton Leuthner drove a deep fly ball to the right field warning track, but Maycock lost sight of the ball and dropped it. Two unearned runs scored to make it 3-0 Stony Brook.
Hartford answered with a sacrifice fly from Knight in the second, and later tied the game with a two-run homer in the third from shortstop Tremaine Cobb Jr. In the bottom of the fourth, second baseman Martin Chavarria broke the tie with a sacrifice fly of his own. However, Brown-Eiring struck again in the top of the sixth, launching his second two-run homer in as many days to give the Seawolves a 5-4 lead.
Hartford continued to fight hard, as Cobb Jr. tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI double. However, center fielder Cole Durkan threw Cobb Jr. out at third base trying to stretch his hit to a triple. The game remained tied at five apiece going into the ninth, where Stony Brook finally took the lead for good.
With the bases loaded and one out, Hartford catcher Tyler Holmes attempted a relay throw to first base to turn a double play, but plunked Brown-Eiring. The ball bounced into foul territory, and second baseman Evan Fox came around to score. Catcher Chris Leone then scored on a wild pitch from Alec Couture. Finally, with the bases loaded again, Miceli bounced a ground ball to third baseman Logan Cole, who made a wide throw that allowed two more runs.
Pitcher Colton Book was able to protect the four-run cushion provided by his offense and locked down the Seawolves’ win. Stony Brook won the game 9-5, with five of its nine runs unearned.
Stony Brook won the final game 7-5. The game was only seven innings long, yet the Seawolves still got no length from their starter. Quinlan Montgomery’s control issues got the best of him, as he walked five hitters in just over two innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits with just one strikeout before being pulled.
Hartford was able to score first off of Montgomery with a bases-loaded walk by Anderson in the bottom of the first.
Luckily for Stony Brook, Hartford pitcher Will Nowak was not much better. Nowak started for Hartford and only lasted 4.2 innings, allowing five earned runs on five hits. Leone tied the game off of him in the top of the second inning with an RBI double. However, he was injured on the play while sliding into second base. He was replaced by catcher Ryan Micheli. Soon after that, a wild pitch gave Stony Brook the lead, when right fielder Derek Yalon scored to make it 2-1.
Stony Brook answered in the top of the fifth when first baseman Brett Paulsen tied the game with an RBI groundout. Giordano drove a two-run double in the sixth inning to left field to make it 7-4, putting the game out of reach for Hartford. That hit was the difference in the game, as a solo home run from Maycock in the bottom of the seventh inning made it a two-run game.
Despite that, reliever Josh O’Neill was able to strike out the next hitter with ease and lock down the eight-out save for Stony Brook.
The series was ugly, as both teams combined to make 10 errors in the field, walk 27 total batters and throw 10 wild pitches.
The Seawolves’ next game will be a non-conference game on Wednesday, April 6 at the Manhattan Jaspers.