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Stony Brook baseball swept at home by Charleston

Second baseman Johnny Pilla throws to second base against Charleston on Saturday, March 30. Pilla went 6-for-12 with two doubles, four runs scored an another driven in this past weekend. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

In a series where nothing went right, the Stony Brook baseball team came out with no wins to show for itself.

The Seawolves (12-15, 1-5 CAA) were swept by the Charleston Cougars (17-9, 4-2 CAA) in a three-game set at Joe Nathan Field over the weekend. Things started roughly for Stony Brook on Friday in an 11-5 defeat before getting worse with a 17-8 loss on Saturday. On Sunday, Charleston completed the sweep by handing its hosts a 6-2 loss.

Game one was a disaster for starting pitcher Eddie Smink from the beginning, as he allowed a grand slam to designated hitter Cole Singsank in the top of the first inning. In the top of the second, left fielder Avery Neaves lifted a sacrifice fly to score center fielder Tyler Sorrentino and make it 5-0. The Seawolves got one back in the bottom of the frame when third baseman Evan Goforth tapped an RBI single the other way, but the Cougars answered right away in the top of the third with a two-run bomb by shortstop Luke Wood.

Smink started the top of the fourth inning and issued a single to Neaves before plunking Charleston first baseman Cole Mathis. After that, head coach Matt Senk had seen enough and pulled him from the game in favor of relief pitcher Ty Panariello. Smink allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits while striking out three batters and walking another three.

Senk said Smink’s struggles stemmed from the Cougars’ offensive approach.

“To their credit, they were ready to go,” Senk said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “I think they had a good report on Eddie. They fouled off some tough pitches early and then jumped him. When they made the decision to sell out to his fastball … he’s got to be able to throw his secondary stuff for a strike, and he did not do that.”

Stony Brook’s bats struggled against Charleston starting pitcher Jake Brink, who allowed just three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two.

The Seawolves fell behind by as many as eight runs in the top of the sixth inning when Neaves doubled home a run and Mathis bounced into a fielder’s choice to drive in another. After falling behind 9-1, Stony Brook got some runs back in garbage time, starting with a solo home run off the bat of left fielder Matt Brown-Eiring in the bottom of the sixth. Sorrentino got that run back with a run-scoring triple in the top of the seventh, but center fielder Evan Fox answered immediately with a run batted in (RBI) in the home half of the frame.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Cougars went up 11-3 on second baseman Trotter Harlan’s RBI single. In their last turn at-bat, the Seawolves scratched across a pair when right fielder Rob Taylor grounded out to third base to drive in a run and Fox doubled another one in.

Panariello struggled and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits, but he gave Stony Brook good length with 3 ⅓ innings pitched. After he left, relief pitcher Brendan Pattermann finished the game and allowed just an unearned run on two hits while striking out two hitters over 2 ⅔ innings.

Game two started perfectly for the Seawolves, with starting pitcher Nick Rizzo tossing a 1-2-3 top of the first inning before second baseman Johnny Pilla doubled home Fox after a leadoff walk to start the home half. However, the top of the second spelled trouble for Rizzo and company, as Wood doubled home Mathis to tie the game before Charleston catcher Dylan Johnson gave his team the lead with a two-run homer.

Rizzo’s command began to fail him in the top of the third inning when he walked a pair to load the bases. With one out, he issued a walk to Singsank, forcing in another run. After that, Wood continued to own him and sprayed a two-run single into right field. Rizzo was pulled after allowing six runs on five hits and three walks in just 2 ⅓ innings.

In the top of the fifth, Mathis took relief pitcher Ty Saunders deep to left field for a solo shot to give the Cougars a 7-1 lead. In the home half, Fox bounced out to second base to drive in a run. After a single by Pilla and a walk to Brown-Eiring, first baseman Erik Paulsen flew one into right field that Charleston right fielder Will Baumhofer dropped, allowing both runs to score.

With the Cougars’ lead trimmed down to 7-4, Harlan tacked onto it with an RBI double in the top of the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Saunders surrendered a single to Mathis and hit Singsank with a pitch before being pulled in favor of relief pitcher Colton Book. Wood greeted Book with an RBI double to left field. Johnson followed him with a two-run single up the middle before coming around to score on a double by Charleston third baseman Kevin Madden.

Two batters later, Harlan pulled a single through the left side to drive in the fifth run of the inning and give the Cougars a 13-4 lead. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Brown-Eiring blasted a two-run home run before designated hitter Chris Carson doubled in first baseman Brett Paulsen. Carson later scored on a single from right fielder Matty Wright.

In the top of the ninth inning, Charleston tacked on four more, starting when center fielder Khyree Miller doubled one home before scoring on a base hit from Harlan. After that, Baumhofer launched a two-run homer to finish the scoring.

Game three was much closer, but Stony Brook failed to salvage the series. In the top of the second inning, Singsank crushed a two-run home run off starting pitcher J.T. Raab to start the scoring. With two outs in the inning and Johnson in scoring position after a double, Sorrentino singled to score him and put the Cougars up 3-0. In the top of the fourth inning, Neaves got a hold of one and drove it over the left-field fence for a solo homer to make it 4-0.

Leading off the top of the sixth inning, Mathis smacked one out of the park to chase Raab from the game and make it 5-0. Raab allowed five runs on seven hits across five innings and struck out three. Erik Paulsen replaced him and pitched well, allowing just a run on four hits with four strikeouts in as many innings.

The Seawolves never found the scoreboard until the bottom of the eighth when Brown-Eiring hit a two-run double to left-center field. In the top of the ninth inning, Charleston shortstop Ben Venables tacked on insurance with a chopper down the first-base line that catcher Chris Leone tried to blow foul, but it stayed fair, allowing a run to score.

Despite the results, Stony Brook had several offensive standouts over the weekend. Fox, Brown-Eiring and Pilla all hit safely in all three games.

Brown-Eiring had the biggest weekend, as he went 5-for-13 with three doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, three runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. Fox went 5-for-14 with a double, three RBIs, three runs, a walk and a steal. Pilla went 6-for-12, two doubles, an RBI, four runs and a hit-by-pitch.

Behind those three, Wright had a big weekend, as he went 5-for-11 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.

The Seawolves will remain at Nathan to host the Sacred Heart Pioneers this Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Pioneers are 13-12 this year after taking two out of three games from Long Island University this past weekend.

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About the Contributor
Mike Anderson
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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