In their final series as conference rivals, the Stony Brook Seawolves defeated their in-state foes in their own backyard.
The Stony Brook baseball team (25-24, 19-8 AE) took two of three games from the Binghamton Bearcats to continue their dominance over their America East opponents. The offense led the Seawolves to their eighth series victory and some redemption, as the only America East team to win a series over Stony Brook this year was Binghamton themselves.
Game one was a steady victory for Stony Brook, guided by a gem from starting pitcher Ben Fero. Fero tossed 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out eight. Stony Brook scored for him as well, giving him a five-run cushion to protect.
Opposite Fero was lefty Thomas Babalis, who got no support from the rest of his team. Babalis lasted only 5.1 innings while allowing five runs on seven hits. However, three of the five runs were unearned, coming by way of three Binghamton errors. A throwing error in the sixth inning by second baseman Nick Roselli allowed two runs to score, putting Stony Brook up 5-0.
Binghamton’s offense couldn’t muster anything until Fero was gone. They scored two in the top of the eighth, starting with a home run from third baseman Devan Bade. They then loaded the bases, and first baseman Connor Aoki walked in the second run. However, reliever Quinlan Montgomery escaped further trouble and left the bases loaded.
A two-run double in the top of the ninth from right fielder Derek Yalon extended the Seawolves lead to 7-2. They went on to win by that score as Montgomery locked down the five-out save.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair, but the Seawolves came out on top. Starter Brandon Lashley was coming off of three good starts in a row, but was roughed up by the Binghamton lineup. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits in just four innings before being pulled. Reliever Josh O’Neill came in and helped the Seawolves mount a comeback with a strong relief performance.
After Stony Brook scored first on yet another Binghamton error, Binghamton took a 3-1 lead in the third. Stony Brook tied it in the fourth after RBIs from Yalon and designated hitter Ryan Micheli.
Binghamton took the lead back on a Mason sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth and extended their lead on an Aoki RBI single in the fifth. In the sixth inning, Stony Brook crept closer with a sacrifice fly from catcher Chris Leone to make it 5-4.
Late-game heroics prevailed for Stony Brook. Yalon tied the game with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning, setting up left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring for his big moment in the top of the ninth. Brown-Eiring got a fastball from pitcher Jack Collins and got all of it, hitting a majestic blast over the left field wall to make it 7-5 Stony Brook.
O’Neill went on to finish the ninth, securing the win and the series win for the Seawolves. However, despite setting up the sweep, they could not finish the series in style.
The Binghamton bats rained on the Seawolves’ parade in game three, spoiling a huge performance from third baseman Evan Giordano. Giordano hit a home run in each of the first two innings for Stony Brook, collecting four RBIs in the process. His first was a leadoff bomb, the first of his career.
Despite Giordano’s efforts, the Seawolves allowed 11 runs through the first two innings, including eight in the second. Bade and designated hitter Kevin Reilly both knocked in three runs each to lead the Binghamton barrage. They tacked on another run in the third to go up 12-4.
Freshman pitcher Colton Book caught the brunt of the damage, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on five hits in 1.1 innings.
Stony Brook scored a run in the fifth inning to trim the deficit, but the game went into a rain delay right before the bottom of the fifth started. Since the game already went four and a half innings, the game was called and Stony Brook was handed the 12-5 loss.
On a positive note: after winning the Danni Kemp Teammate of the Year award last Saturday, Yalon followed the accomplishment with a big weekend. Yalon went 6-for-12 with a double, five RBIs and a walk at Binghamton. Yalon now has nine hits over his last 20 at-bats.
The Seawolves have officially finished the road part of their season, going 10-5 in-conference and 13-18 in road games overall. They won all five America East road series by taking two of three. The only series left is a home one against NJIT, beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Stony Brook won a road series versus NJIT in Newark back in April, and the Seawolves can get more revenge against the Highlanders for the infamous 2021 championship game debacle before leaving the America East for good.
Two games back, the Seawolves will need help from Hartford in order to pass Maine for the regular season title.