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Stony Brook baseball loses Battle of Long Island, drops to ninth place

Starting pitcher Ben Fero throws a pitch against Lafayette on Friday, March 10. Fero was the only Stony Brook baseball pitcher to earn a win this weekend at Hofstra. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

After losing only two total conference series over the previous two seasons, the Stony Brook baseball team has now dropped its first three series in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

Spending this past weekend down the road, the Seawolves (10-15, 3-6 CAA) lost their first-ever series as conference rivals with the Hofstra Pride. After opening the series with an 8-6 win on Friday, Stony Brook lost the final two games 10-8 and 4-0.

Stony Brook used the long ball to its advantage in game one. Solo home runs from third baseman Evan Giordano, catcher Ryan Micheli and designated hitter Shane Paradine allowed the Seawolves to take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Hofstra first baseman Steve Harrington cut Stony Brook’s lead in half with a sacrifice fly in the home half of the sixth inning. However, Hofstra’s momentum was undercut by Paradine’s hot bat in the top of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, he laced a three-RBI double into right-center field to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 7-3.

Stony Brook threatened for more in that inning, as left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring drew a four-pitch walk. With two runners on base, first baseman Brett Paulsen lined a base hit over second base. However, Hofstra right fielder Brian Morrell threw out Brown-Eiring at third base before Paradine could cross home plate, negating the run and keeping the score at 7-3.

Over the next two innings, Hofstra scored three unanswered runs to cut Stony Brook’s lead down to just one. Luckily for the Seawolves, in the top of the ninth inning, Brown-Eiring made up for his baserunning error by driving an RBI double into right-center field. His hit doubled their lead and took the wind out of Hofstra’s sails.

Relief pitcher Josh O’Neill pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to slam the door on the series-opening win. O’Neill locked up his first save of the year, allowing three runs on three hits over three innings pitched.

Starting pitcher Ben Fero earned his second win of the season, allowing just three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings pitched. Fero struck out five hitters while walking only two.

Stony Brook had a tougher day on Saturday, as its poor pitching squandered a good offensive showing. Starting pitcher Jared Bellissimo allowed four runs on six hits in just 3 ⅔ innings pitched. He hit a lot of bats, as he struck out only one while walking a pair.

Despite Bellissimo’s struggles, Stony Brook only trailed 4-3 through the first four and a half innings. Once the bottom of the fifth inning rolled around, Hofstra’s bats continued to feed on the Seawolves’ arms. This time, relief pitcher Brandon Lashley was the victim.

Hofstra catcher Kevin Bruggeman led off the inning with a solo bomb to double his team’s lead. Just two batters later, Harrington launched one out of the park, making it 6-3 Hofstra.

Center fielder Evan Fox cut into Stony Brook’s deficit with an RBI triple in the top of the sixth inning, but his efforts were negated by Hofstra’s red-hot offense. After back-to-back RBI doubles by left fielder Will Kennedy and Bruggeman, Morrell blew the game open with a two-run homer. Hofstra went up 10-4, putting the game out of Stony Brook’s reach.

The Seawolves mounted a comeback, plating a pair in each of the next two innings, but their rally fell two runs shy. Hofstra relief pitcher Michael O’Hanlon tossed a perfect ninth inning to put an end to Stony Brook’s come-from-behind attempt.

After scoring eight runs in each of their first two games, the Seawolves were shut out for the first time this season in the rubber game of the series. Hofstra starting pitcher Brad Camarda had his way with Stony Brook’s lineup on Sunday, pitching a five-hit, complete game shutout. Camarda struck out five and walked four.

With the way Camarda was dealing, Hofstra’s offense got all it needed in the bottom of the first inning. Kennedy doubled home the game’s first run off of starting pitcher Eddie Smink.

Smink had a good day himself, allowing just three runs on eight hits in seven innings pitched. He struck out five hitters and walked only two. Unfortunately for him, Camarda took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and never allowed more than two baserunners in an inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Hofstra center fielder Dylan Palmer grounded one through the middle of the diamond to drive in a pair. In the next inning, Hofstra third baseman Ryan Morash put the finishing touches on the game with an RBI single off of relief pitcher J.T. Raab.

Despite the series loss, several Stony Brook hitters had very good performances with the bat. Giordano went 5-for-13 with a double, a home run, two RBIs, four runs scored and a walk. Paradine broke out of his slump in a big way, going 7-for-12 with two doubles, a home run, a sacrifice fly, six RBIs, two runs and a walk.

Brown-Eiring also swung the bat well, going 4-for-12 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks. Behind him, Paulsen went 3-for-10 with a double, a home run, a sacrifice fly, three RBIs and a run scored. The home run was just the third of Paulsen’s NCAA career and his first against a team other than Iona.

Rounding out the group was shortstop Matt Miceli, who went 4-for-8 with a double, a walk and a run scored.

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

Stony Brook will be back in action on Tuesday when it hosts the Manhattan Jaspers. The Jaspers are 8-18 this year after splitting a doubleheader with Saint Peter’s on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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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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