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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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    Baseball Dominates Binghamton

    The Stony Brook Seawolves vaulted themselves into first place in the conference over the weekend when they swept the Binghamton Bearcats in back-to-back double-headers. The Seawolves depth and talent was on display throughout the series.

    Sophomore Jeremy Nowak was eight for 13 during the series with a couple of three-hit games. He also saved three of the four games. Head coach Matt Senk thought that his offense shined when it was most important. “I thought that overall we had timely hitting, Jeremy’s game-tying home run, Nick Thode’s game-winning home run,” he said. “Mike Stephan did a great job. Stephen Marino had timely hits. It was a great team effort.”

    The Seawolves won the first game 11-9. Senior starter Tom Koehler had 13 strikeouts but was charged with eight runs, five of which were earned. Senk doesn’t fault his pitcher for the uncharacteristic numbers. “The runs he gave up — we had a bunch of errors that inning. It was a crazy inning, there were bloop hits and some inherited runners scored after he came out.”

    In game two the Seawolves were down to their last chance to score when Nowak hit the game-tying home run. After Thode’s home run, Nowak came in to save the game. Senk couldn’t hide how he felt about Nowak’s performance. “He had a tremendous weekend. He hit for average, he hit for power and he added the three saves. He’s a pretty special player,” he said.

    The Seawolves used a seven-run third inning to beat the Bearcats 7-6 in the third game of the series. The seven hit onslaught began when junior Steven Mazzurco doubled to start the inning. An RBI single by Marino was followed by a bunt single by Keith Fier. A sacrifice fly by Brian Witkowski made it 3-2 Binghamton. Chad Marshall had another single and Stephan walked. Fier put pressure on the Bearcats by running on the final pitch to Stephan and was rewarded when the Binghamton catch threw the ball into leftfield. He scampered home to make it 3-3. Nowak followed with an RBI double to plate Marshall and Rob Dyer punctuated the inning with a three-run home run to make it 7-3 Seawolves.

    Rob Dyer went seven for 13 with seven RBI’s in the series. Senk said that Dyer’s importance to the team is measured in more than just numbers. “He has a great energy level, guys feed off his energy,” he said. “When you play with that positive outlook, good things are going to happen to you and he exemplifies that mindset.”

    The fourth game featured a dominating performance by junior Mike Errigo. He shutout the Bearcats for eight and two-thirds innings and gave up seven hits. He also had seven strikeouts. Asked about Errigo’s importance to the team, Senk believes it is necessary to have a solid third starter to go along with Koehler and Gary Novakowski “Mike is extremely important. He’s starting to put it together, coming off a red-shirt year, he hadn’t pitched for so long, but we definitely need him. Pitching depth, whether in a conference weekend or in the tournament is what sets the winning teams apart.”

    Senk believes in the importance of depth at all positions. This allows him to do tinkering and take advantage of particular skill sets. Marino is usually part of a platoon but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. “At third base we can go lefty-righty with Steve and Chris Maier,” he said. “Steve had such an excellent defensive game on Saturday and with Bing’s better hitters hitting to the short and third base side I decided to go with Steve on Sunday.”

    There was no injury update on starting catcher Justin Echevarria who has a bad shoulder. He went two for three in the last game of the series with an RBI. “He caught two of the four games, he split games because of the double-headers, he’s good to go,” Senk said.

    With the Seawolves starting 4-0 in conference play, Senk only had good things to say to his team. “I told them that they did an excellent job, short of four shutouts or four no-hitters, you can’t do much better than we did.” The Seawolves will play Hartford this weekend. They started out 3-1 in conference play and come to Stony Brook for another four-game series. Senk said his team knows what they have to do. “They have to take care of business at home. Hartford has a coach who is in his third year and he brought in a bunch of players. They took their lumps but now they’re juniors and seniors and they think that it’s their time.

    Senk doesn’t think its too early to look at these conference games as a chance to create separation between first and second place. “There are still 20 games left, next weekend it will be eight down and 16 to go. We want to have a good weekend and do what we did to Bing to Hartford and to the rest of the teams.”

    If the first four conference games are any indication, the America East will continue to have their hands full with the deep and talented Seawolves.

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