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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Baseball hopes to grab attention this season

Probably the most underrated and overlooked team in Stony Brook athletics is the baseball team. Forty-two wins last season to go along with an America East regular season title would not go unnoticed anywhere else, but for some reason they do here at Stony Brook. Granted, Stony Brook’s football, basketball and men’s lacrosse teams are tops lately, but that should still not take away from the baseball team’s success.
Coached by Matt Senk, who is in his 22nd season at Stony Brook, the team looks to be just as competitive, if not more this season.
“Our goals never change. We try to have the best overall record and to peak at the right time,” Senk said. “We want to play well in conference play and also peak at the time.”
The team is also returning 20 letterwinners, which include preseason All-American juniors Travis Jankowski, William Carmona, and Maxx Tissenbaum.
Along with the letterwinners, the team is strong with pitching. The Seawolves are bringing back senior Tyler Johnson, who will fill in where junior Nick Tropeano left off last season.
“We’re lucky to have him. If Tropeano was was our No. 1, then Johnson was our 1-A,” Senk said. Senior Evan Stecko-Haley is also coming back to the rotation in hopes of improving upon last season’s stellar numbers.
Even though the Seawolves only lost two position players and one man in the starting rotation, Senk felt he needed to bring a new host of freshmen to the team.
Seven freshmen were brought in to join the Seawolves, which includes Luke Alba, Nick Brass, Matt Gallup, Steven Goldstein, Kevin Krause, Michael Roehrig, and Cole Peragine. “Kevin came in and had a very good fall and took that into his first weekend of play,” Senk said. “Cole played very well his first weekend also and has filled in well at shortstop.”
Also coming onto the team is sophomore Anthony Italiano, a transfer from Boston College. Italiano, a catcher, appeared in 14 games last season for Boston College. “He is very solid and should really help this team,” Senk said.
The biggest change for the team this season is being able to use the new Joe Nathan Field for an entire season.
The team got to use it for a handful of games last season, but this season will be their first on the new turf field.
“We’re excited to use it, and it finally represents where our team has come from,” Senk said. The team will play 20 games at home this season, the first on Wednesday, March 14 against Iona.
Also new for the team this season has been their workout routine. “With Joe Nathan Field and a mild winter, we were able to practice more outside, which is a lot different than the last few years,” Senk said.
Even though this team could go under the radar on campus at Stony Brook, it still catches the attention of the outside polls. Stony Brook was picked to win the America East conference this season and was ranked 15th in the College Baseball Daily Mid-Major Top 25.
But that does not affect the team all that much, according to Senk. He said, “Expectations from outside polls and coaches polls add pressure, but we’ve talked about it. We expect those expectations from ourselves.”
This season also brings different opponents for the Seawolves. They will be playing a weekend in Minnesota at the Metrodome against Kansas, which is nationally ranked.
Also, the team will continue a local rivalry with New York Institute of Technology, which started 12 years ago, when Stony Brook went to Division I. “Every game is a challenge for us. The game at the Metrodome is a great venue to play in,” Senk said. “Every weekend in conference play is a dogfight.”
Stony Brook started its season off playing in Louisiana, at the Colonel Round Robin at Nicholls State. The team swept all four games, defeating Alabama State and Nicholls State twice apiece. “They lost an opponent to play, and they asked us to play,” Senk said. “They were gracious hosts and it was a great experience for our players, not only in baseball, but with the culture.”
In their four-game sweep, the Seawolves scored 21 runs and only let up nine. “Pitching was key for us down there, and we went up early and shut them down the rest of the way,” Senk said. Krause and Carmona both hit home runs in the opening weekend to propel the Seawolves to victory.

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