In the Stony Brook baseball team’s 9-2 defeat to the Manhattan Jaspers on Tuesday, April 5, two worrying trends continued for the Seawolves: non-conference struggles and pitching woes.
Impending weather pushed the game one day ahead of its originally-planned Wednesday timeslot.
Based on the amount of pitchers Stony Brook (12-15) used, it looked as though head coach Matt Senk may have been using the non-conference game as an opportunity to get his unused pitchers some work. It is in his track record, including this year, to get non-regular players some playing time in non-conference games.
However, it didn’t help lead to a win on this particular day, nor has it this year. Stony Brook is 7-2 in conference play, but just 5-13 in non-conference games.
The pitching was not good, as Manhattan’s (13-12) bats racked up nine runs on 11 hits, while also drawing 10 walks. Stony Brook’s pitching only struck out four hitters.
Freshman left-hander JC Kiss was the first of eight pitchers to appear for Stony Brook. He made his first career start and went 1.2 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out two and walking two.
After an RBI single by second baseman Evan Fox in the top of the third, it was a 1-1 ballgame with left-hander Devin Sharkey on the hill for Stony Brook. He ran into trouble, but traded a run for some breathing room, as he induced a double play ground ball on Manhattan third baseman Jack Lynch. That broke the tie, giving the Jaspers a 2-1 lead.
Sharkey ran into more of the same trouble in the fourth inning and was pulled with two runners on. Center fielder Harrison Treble then greeted reliever Kyle Johnson with a two-run double down the right field line. Later that inning, Lynch singled home two more, and right fielder Pete Durocher capped off the big inning with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-1.
Ben Fero got an inning of work in, as he pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth inning, then handed the ball off to lefty Anthony Jacabacci, who tossed a hitless sixth inning with a pair of walks.
Shortstop David Bermudez put the finishing touches on Manhattan’s scoring when he hit a two-run single off of freshman Dawson Logie to make it 9-1. The Seawolves scored a garbage-time run in the top of the ninth, when first baseman Brett Paulsen grounded out to drive in Fox.
Mason Vaughan did the bulk of the work for Manhattan’s pitching staff, as he pitched the final five innings en route to earning his first win of the season. He only allowed one earned run on two hits while striking out one and walking none.
The Seawolves’ bats had a tough day as well, as they only mustered up seven hits. They did not draw a single walk against Manhattan’s pitching, either. Shortstop Stanton Leuthner had a good day, going 2-for-2 before being pulled from the game in the top of the seventh inning. Fox had a good day from the leadoff spot, as he went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. He also stole another base, which was his fifteenth in as many tries this season.
One noteworthy thing was that third baseman Evan Giordano did not play in this game, but it is likely not of concern. Senk did not play him last Wednesday against Iona, as he wanted to get some backups and younger guys a chance to play. However, it should be noted that Giordano did not play the field over the weekend against Hartford, as he was only used as a designated hitter. He did not even start the final game of the series, but rather came on as a pinch-hitter. Perhaps there is an underlying reason to that.
Another thing worth mentioning: freshman pitcher Brian Hart made his college debut in the bottom of the eighth inning, and pitched a scoreless inning. He did not allow a hit, but walked two hitters.
The Seawolves will have a chance to bounce back and defend their home turf this weekend in a very important series, as the arch-rival UAlbany Great Danes will come to town. The three-game series is set to begin on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
Albany comes in at 4-5 in conference-play, having just taken two out of three games from Binghamton. Stony Brook swept the season series from Albany last year, sweeping a four-game series on the road then eliminating the Danes from the playoffs with a walk-off win during the tournament.