After being shut out through the first five innings, the Stony Brook baseball team scored 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth to run away with its midweek matchup.
Making up a rainout game from two weeks ago, the Seawolves (9-13, 2-4 CAA) smacked the Iona Gaels 12-2 in a nonconference game on Tuesday. Iona utilized a bullpen day, but Stony Brook’s bats eventually caught up to the revolving door of pitchers.
Iona left fielder Jake Field started the scoring in the top of the first inning when he hit an RBI single into left field. In the next inning, the Gaels threatened for more by loading the bases with nobody out. However, starting pitcher Quinlan Montgomery pulled off a Houdini act and escaped with a pop out and a double-play ground ball.
Stony Brook’s bats struggled mightily in the first five innings, being limited to no runs on just one hit. Iona pitchers Alex Hunt, Julian Velazquez, Matt Zguro, Tyler Lender and Sean Davis all pitched one scoreless inning each.
Iona head coach Conor Burke left Davis out there for one more inning, but that was one inning too long. He hit second baseman Evan Fox with the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning. Fox then stole second base and advanced to third on a flyout by designated hitter Ryan Micheli.
After that, third baseman Evan Giordano hit a ground ball towards the middle of the diamond that Iona second baseman Phoenix Bowman smothered with a diving stop. Bowman threw home, but could not catch Fox, who scored the tying run.
“Ironically enough, [Davis] was the only kid that came out for a second inning,” head coach Matt Senk said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “We jumped him, and then everything kind of snowballed from there.”
After a single by right fielder Derek Yalon and a flyout by left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring, first baseman Jason Campo came to the plate with two out and two on. The freshman slugger worked a long at-bat before smashing a double to deep left-center field, breaking the tie and giving Stony Brook a 3-1 lead.
Making his first-career start in place of first baseman Brett Paulsen — who was out sick — Campo was happy to contribute to a win.
“I feel pretty good,” Campo said. “The work paid off, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
After that, Iona’s pitching staff lost its grip on the ball and Stony Brook blew the game open. A walk to shortstop Matt Miceli and a hit-by-pitch on center fielder Matty Wright loaded the bases with two outs. Catcher Chris Leone walked in a run to make it 4-1 and brought up Fox for his second at-bat of the inning.
Stony Brook sent 15 hitters to the plate in the inning and got only four hits. However, four hit batters and four walks allowed the Seawolves to score 11 total runs in the frame.
The final three runs of the inning came on a bases-clearing double by Brown-Eiring, who finished the game 2-for-5 with those three RBIs. After going just 1-for-13 last week, Brown-Eiring felt better after having a good day against Iona.
“I’ve been frustrated before today,” Brown-Eiring said. “I’ve been barreling baseballs, today they fell. I feel much better.”
After that offensive explosion, the game was over. Stony Brook tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly from Micheli, and Iona scored one in the top of the eighth on a wild pitch.
After a rough first time through the batting order, Montgomery settled down and pieced together a good start. He allowed just one run on three hits, striking out eight hitters while walking three.
Senk was pleased with the way that Montgomery bounced back from the poor beginning to his start.
“Probably the thing that pleases me the most is that Quinlan minimized the first inning; he threw well,” Senk said.
Relief pitcher J.T. Raab followed him and allowed only one run on two hits in three innings pitched. He struck out four without issuing a walk and earned his second-career win, improving to 2-0 on the season.
Left-handed reliever Eric Foster made his season debut and finished the game with a scoreless ninth inning, allowing just one walk. He erased his only baserunner when he fielded a comebacker and turned a 1-6-3 double play to clear the bases.
Stony Brook will look to grab its first-ever series win in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) this weekend in the Battle of Long Island. The Seawolves will take on the defending CAA champions — the Hofstra Pride — this weekend for a three-game series. Game one is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Pride are just 8-15 this year and 3-6 in CAA play. They lost two out of three games in their previous series to North Carolina A&T. Brown-Eiring — who went 4-for-6 with two home runs and six RBIs against Hofstra last year — likes Stony Brook’s chances.
“We’ve got it in us. I don’t think they’re anything too special, so I think we should handle them,” Brown-Eiring said.