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Stony Brook baseball loses first CAA series at Charleston

First baseman Brett Paulsen takes an at-bat against Lafayette on Friday, March 10. Paulsen had five hits in Stony Brook’s first-ever CAA series. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Though the Stony Brook baseball team lost its first-ever series in its new conference, it did not walk away empty handed.

Facing off against the preseason conference favorites, the Seawolves (6-11, 1-2 CAA) dropped two out of three games to the Charleston Cougars down in South Carolina. Stony Brook dropped the opener 10-3 on Friday and secured the series loss with a 3-2 defeat in 11 innings on Saturday. The team was able to salvage its series, winning a 15-11 slugfest on Sunday.

Charleston built a 2-1 lead through the first four innings of game one, taking the lead after consecutive two-out errors by third baseman Evan Giordano. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Charleston ran away with the game, scratching across eight runs to take a 10-1 lead.

A pair of two-run homers by Charleston second baseman Joseph Mershon and catcher Jared Kirven bookended the Cougars’ eight-run inning, effectively putting the game out of Stony Brook’s reach. A two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning by designated hitter Shane Paradine cut into Stony Brook’s deficit, but no more scoring was done after that.

Stony Brook’s bats were silenced by Charleston’s arms. Charleston starting pitcher Ty Good pitched a quality start, allowing only three runs on two hits in six innings pitched. He struck out eight and walked one. Relief pitcher Alex Lyon finished the game and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while striking out a pair.

Even though Lyon came into the game with a seven-run lead, he was credited with the save.

Game two was a duel between starting pitcher Ben Fero and Charleston starting pitcher Trey Pooser. Fero allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 ⅓ innings, collecting a pair of strikeouts and issuing two walks. Pooser allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven innings pitched, striking out three without walking a batter.

The duel carried into the bullpen, as relief pitcher Josh O’Neill and Charleston relief pitcher William Privette dominated in their stints.

Stony Brook took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run from Giordano. The Seawolves held that lead until Charleston third baseman Luke Wood tied the game with an RBI double off of Fero in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fero retired his next hitter, but was then replaced with O’Neill.

Both relievers held each team scoreless for the rest of regulation, sending the game to extra innings. Neither team scored in the 10th inning, and Stony Brook was stymied again in the top of the 11th. 

In the bottom of the 11th inning, Stony Brook’s defense failed O’Neill. A throwing error by shortstop Matt Miceli allowed the leadoff hitter to reach and a walk moved him into scoring position. After that, Giordano mishandled a sacrifice bunt to load the bases with nobody out.

O’Neill got the first out on a fielder’s choice, but Charleston center fielder Tyler Sorrentino walked the game off with an RBI single to right field.

O’Neill did not allow an earned run during his four innings of work. He only surrendered two walks and two hits while striking out four hitters. Opposite him, Privette pitched four scoreless innings while striking out five, walking two and allowing just a pair of hits.

In game three, starting pitcher Nick DeGennaro made his return to the mound after not pitching since the Troy series. He did not fare well, allowing a run in each of his first three innings before being pulled for relief pitcher Brandon Lashley. 

However, DeGennaro picked the right day to struggle. After being bottled up on Friday and Saturday, Stony Brook’s offense erupted for 15 runs on 19 hits on Sunday. 

After falling behind 1-0, four straight RBI singles by second baseman Anthony Gentile, right fielder Derek Yalon, center fielder Evan Fox and Miceli gave Stony Brook a 4-1 lead. Giordano capped off a six-run inning with a two-run single to put the Seawolves up 6-1.

Now leading 6-3 in the top of the fourth, Paradine doubled home Fox before scoring on an RBI single from catcher Ryan Micheli. Charleston left fielder Will Baumhofer got one back with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.

After a scoreless fifth inning, first baseman Brett Paulsen padded Stony Brook’s lead with an RBI single in the top of the sixth. After Lashley tossed another scoreless inning in the bottom of the sixth, Stony Brook erupted for four more runs. Giordano hit an RBI triple and Paradine singled him home. Paulsen then blew the game open with a two-run double to give his team a 13-4 lead.

Charleston did not go away quietly, scoring seven unanswered runs over the next two innings to get back within two runs of Stony Brook. Three errors by Stony Brook’s defense during the stretch opened the door for Charleston to score four unearned runs, making it 13-11.

Relief pitcher Eddie Smink came into the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and two outs. After surrendering the final run of Charleston’s rally, Smink stranded the tying run. 

Paulsen and Yalon both drove in runs in the top of the ninth inning to double Stony Brook’s lead. Now staked to a four-run cushion, Smink slammed the door on Charleston with a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning, earning his first-career save.

Several Seawolves had big offensive performances against Charleston. Giordano went 5-for-14 with a home run, a triple, four RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. Paradine went 4-for-13 with a double, a home run, four RBIs and three runs.

Paulsen went 5-for-13 with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Fox also went 5-for-13, racking up one double, three walks, two RBIs, four runs and two steals.

Head coach Matt Senk did not speak to the media after any of the three games.

Stony Brook will return to the diamond on Tuesday to take on the Long Island University (LIU) Sharks. This will be the second meeting of the season between these two teams. This time, LIU will host Stony Brook. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Seawolves won the last matchup 15-5. The Sharks are having a rough year, as they are currently just 2-16 after losing two out of three games to Maryland Eastern Shore.

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About the Contributor
Mike Anderson, Sports Editor
Mike Anderson is the Sports Editor at The Statesman. He is a senior 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, men's and women's lacrosse, women's volleyball 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.
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