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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 Takes Three of Four From Vermont

    Everytime the Seawolves have stumbled, every time they have played poorly, Stony Brook’s baseball team has come back with strong performances. At least that’s the way coach Matt Senk sees it: ‘It’s a very good assessment. We talk about intangibles, it’s not really about winning and losing. We fully believe that we can turn things around when we don’t perform well. We use words like resiliency and mental toughness.’

    Last week the Seawolves lost three out of four to a hot Hartford team. The series dropped them to second in the America East. But there was no carryover to this weekend, as the Seawolves took three out of four from Vermont to pull into a first place tie with Hartford for first place in the conference.

    In the first game of the series on Friday, the Seawolves came from behind to win the game 10-4. Sophomore Jeremy Nowak went three for five on the day along with five RBI. Nowak, who is usually the closer for the Seawolves, started the fourth game of the series and gave up six runs in six and two-thirds innings to go along with seven strikeouts.

    Nowak was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s 45 player watch list for the fourth annual stopper of the year award, which goes to the top relief pitcher in Division I baseball. Senk gave Nowak a start in the series because sophomore Matt Harloff had started during the first couple conference weekends and wasn’t throwing as well as he would have liked. ‘He wasn’t as dominant as he’s been out of the pen, but he did a good job. Offensively he can be streaky but he had a real good game and he’s been productive,’ Senk said.

    The Seawolves split Saturday’s doubleheader, winning 2-1 and losing 5-2. Gary Novakowski pitched a complete game five-hitter while allowing only one run. Senk was pleased with what he saw from Novakowski and his other top starter Tom Koehler, who went seven innings with four runs and six strikeouts in game one. ‘It was a typical Novakowski game. He had a terrific mix of hitting his spots and didn’t walk anybody. He pitches to contact,’ Senk said. The coach also highlighted some similarities and differences between his two staff anchors: ‘Tommy Koehler has at times overpowering stuff, he has a low 90’s fastball, a slider in the 80’s and a solid off-speed breaking pitch. When he can throw all three for strikes he’s really tough. But most importantly they both consistently pitched to their strengths.’

    The Seawolves won the last game of the series 15-7 behind a four for four, five RBI effort from freshman third baseman Stephen Marino. Senk pointed out his performance has been even more impressive because of his age, ‘Marino has been terrific, he really has given quality at bats every time he’s been in the lineup and has played solid defense. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and intensity for a freshman.’

    Senk also gave his weekly update on the status of junior catcher Justin Echevarria, who has been playing with a sore shoulder for weeks. Echevarria hit a big three run home run in Sunday’s game and has been staying fresh because of Senk’s unique playing time constraints. ‘The plan is to have Justin catch one game each of the three conference days and split time in double-headers. Nick Thode catches nonconference midweek games so that Justin gets to rest and be ready for the weekend.’

    The Seawolves outlasted Hofstra in a slugfest yesterday winning the game 18-16 in a nonconference game. Next up for the Seawolves is a conference series against Maine. The Black Bears are 3-5 in conference play but Senk said that his team can not look past them. ‘Maine is going to be really strong, I would think they’re going to be determined to get back on track. We’ve gotten back to where we want to be and the key is not to repeat the weekend against Hartford.’

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