Left-handed pitcher Jerek Hobb pitches against LIU on Wednesday, March 8. Hobb made his NCAA debut on Wednesday and tossed three innings out of the bullpen to finish the game. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

After losing its first nine games, the Stony Brook baseball team beat a pair of in-state rivals to get back into the win column.

The Seawolves (2-9) returned to New York for a pair of mid-week games on back-to-back days. They played the Fordham Rams in the Bronx, N.Y. on Tuesday before hosting the Long Island University (LIU) Sharks for their home opener on Wednesday. Stony Brook rallied late to beat Fordham 8-4, and then blew out LIU at Joe Nathan Field 15-5.

Stony Brook started pitcher Quinlan Montgomery against Fordham, who struggled early on in the contest. After allowing back-to-back base hits to start the game, Fordham first baseman Peter DeMaria pulled an RBI double down the left field line to start the scoring. After that, a run-scoring wild pitch and an RBI groundout put Stony Brook in a 3-0 hole.

Stony Brook’s starpower helped get it back into the game in the top of the third inning. Third baseman Evan Giordano lined a two-run homer to right-center field to get the Seawolves within a run. However, Fordham designated hitter T.J. Wachter extended his team’s lead with an RBI groundout in the bottom half of the inning.


In the top of the fourth inning, second baseman Evan Fox tied the game with a two-out, two-run homer. After Montgomery stranded a pair of runners to keep the game tied in the bottom of the fourth, he was pulled from the game in favor of relief pitcher J.T. Raab.

Raab had the best game of his young NCAA career. He pitched five innings and allowed only one hit while striking out seven hitters and without issuing a walk. He faced the minimum over his five innings of work, as he picked off the only runner he allowed in the eighth inning.

As for Stony Brook, the offense fell asleep against relief pitchers Aric Berg and Nate Scott. After Fox’s home run in the fourth inning, the Seawolves did not score again until the top of the ninth.

A single, an error and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out for Stony Brook against Scott. After Fox popped out to the pitcher, shortstop Matt Miceli worked a walk to give his team a 5-4 lead. Giordano then blew the game open with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double to extend the Seawolves’ lead to four.


Raab pitched a perfect ninth inning to slam the door and earn his first-career win. The win was Stony Brook’s first of the 2023 season and snapped a nine-game losing streak.

The next day against one of its Long Island rivals, Stony Brook destroyed LIU in an eventful game. The Seawolves outplayed the Sharks in every aspect of the game, and head coach Matt Senk was rewarded with the 900th win of his NCAA career.

“To hear that number is pretty unbelievable,” Senk said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “It’s humbling to be in a position where I’ve been able to reach a milestone like that. I’m so appreciative of everything … and it starts with my players, their families, my coaches, the university and my family.”

Another storyline of Wednesday’s home opener was the gem that pitcher Brandon Lashley tossed. However, he hit a bump in the road in the third inning, allowing three runs to let LIU take a 3-0 lead.

Stony Brook responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Giordano got his team on the board with an RBI infield single to shortstop. Following Giordano’s lead, designated hitter Shane Paradine pulled an RBI single into left field to cut LIU’s lead down to one run.


A couple of pitches later, LIU catcher Jack Power blocked a ball in the dirt and caught Paradine in no-man’s land between first and second base. Paradine got into a rundown with the Sharks’ defense, but they executed it poorly and allowed him to return to first base unscathed. During the rundown, Giordano stole third base.

The Sharks’ defensive miscues carried into the next play when left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring bounced a double-play ball to shortstop. However, LIU shortstop Keniel De Leon threw the ball wide of second base and into right field, allowing Giordano to score the tying run.

Right fielder Derek Yalon untied the game with a two-run triple to left-center field just beyond the reach of LIU center fielder Seth Surrett. First baseman Brett Paulsen drove in the sixth run of the inning with a groundout to shortstop, making it 6-3 Stony Brook.

The Seawolves extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, but an unfortunate injury overshadowed the game itself. Leading off the inning, Fox blooped one into shallow right field, leading to LIU second baseman Christopher Hund colliding with Surrett. Fox was able to leg out a triple, but Surrett remained on the turf, as he was kneecapped by Hund in the face. The game was delayed, and an ambulance came to pick Surrett up and transport him to the hospital.

Once play resumed, Giordano singled home Fox before coming around to score on an RBI single from Brown-Eiring. Giordano acknowledged that it was an unfortunate turn of events to be a part of, but he still had to attend to the task at hand.

“Unfortunate things like that happen and our prayers are with him,” Giordano said. “Once the game started back up, I just had to lock back in. It was tough, but it was something I had to do.”


After the rough top of the third inning, Lashley pitched three straight scoreless frames to end his outing. In his first start of the year, Lashley gave the Seawolves their first quality start of the year. He pitched six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking one.

Lashley credited Stony Brook’s defense for his strong finish to the game after the rough third inning.

“I just kept making pitches and trusting my defense behind me,” Lashley said. “We have a great defense. They were laying out all over the place and making plays. It’s good being a pitcher with this type of defense behind you because you don’t need to strike every guy out.”

Lashley attributed his overall success to his control.

“I had really good fastball command,” Lashley said. “I felt like I was able to throw my fastball wherever I wanted in any count. My cutter today was the best its been all year, and it got me the majority of my strikeouts.”

Stony Brook scored two more times in the sixth inning to crack double-digit runs for the first time this year. After that, left-handed pitcher Jerek Hobb made his NCAA debut to replace Lashley and finished the game for his team.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Senk emptied the bench and let the backups get at-bats. They took advantage of the opportunity and batted around, scoring five more runs to take a 12-run lead. First baseman Jason Campo started the scoring with his first-career hit: an RBI triple to center field. Giordano capped it off with his career-high fifth hit of the game, ripping an RBI double down the left field line.


Giordano finished the day 5-for-6 with a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and a steal. After watching him and his team blow out LIU, he was elated.

“It’s great; I can’t ask for a better game than that,” Giordano said.

Between the two games, Giordano went 8-for-11 with two doubles, a home run, eight RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base. 

Fox was good from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-8 with a triple, a home run, two RBIs, three runs, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Paradine was huge for the team out of the cleanup spot, going 5-for-9 with two walks, two RBIs and two runs.

Stony Brook will remain at Joe Nathan Field this weekend. The team will host the Lafayette Leopards for a three-game series starting on Friday. The Leopards are 3-9 this year and are coming off a 15-3 loss to High Point. The series will kick off with a doubleheader on Friday. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 11 a.m.


Mike Anderson is the sports editor of The Statesman. He is a junior majoring in journalism with aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. His love of sports comes from his time spent as a baseball player. As a reporter for The Statesman, he has covered baseball, softball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer and hockey. He has also interned at Axcess Sports as a high school and college baseball and softball reporter. He is a local product from Port Jefferson, N.Y., and is a diehard Mets, Jets, Nets and Islanders fan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.