May 12, 2013
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Junior Anthony Italiano (Sayville, N.Y.) hit a game-changing three-run homer and drove in five runs on the day as he led the Stony Brook baseball team to a split of a doubleheader with Albany, taking game one, 8-7, and losing game two, 7-4, Sunday at Joe Nathan Field.
Sunday was Senior Day, and the Seawolves honored their graduating seniors Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario) and G.C. Yerry (West Shokan, N.Y.) prior to the game.
The first-game win gave the Seawolves the series victory over the Great Danes, having also won on Saturday. Stony Brook is now 22-30 overall and 13-14 in America East. The Seawolves have a one-game lead over Hartford (16-33, 12-15 America East) for the fourth and final spot in the America East Championship. They will play the Hawks in West Hartford, Conn., next weekend, and the team that wins at least two out of three will claim the final playoff spot.
Game One Turning Point
High-scoring early on, the game was back and forth as Albany went up 2-0 in the first inning only to see Stony Brook answer with three in the bottom of the first. The Great Danes tacked on two more in the second inning to go up 4-3.
In the bottom of the third, the game swung in Stony Brook's favor. Junior Kevin Courtney (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and Nivins drew back-to-back walks from Albany starter Derek Zielinski to bring Italiano to the plate. The junior catcher drilled a 2-2 fastball over the left field wall for a three-run homer, giving the Seawolves a 6-4 advantage.
Stony Brook added two more in the fourth before surrendering three runs in the sixth. However, the Seawolves stopped the bleeding and secured the win by getting the final four outs after the Great Danes had come within one run.
Game Two Turning Point
The first inning proved to be Stony Brook's downfall as the Seawolves allowed four runs that put them in a tough hole. Freshman starter Daniel Zamora (La Puente, Calif.) allowed the first two batters to reach base, got Greg Muller to foul out on a bunt and then gave up a two-run double to left center by Josh Nethaway. Two infield hits and two throwing errors led to two more runs, and before the Seawolves came to bat they were down 4-0.
It was 7-1 Great Danes before the Seawolves chipped away at the lead. Ultimately, they struggled with runners on base, stranding 10 men on the day.
Inside the Numbers
- Italiano drove in a career-high five runs in game one. In addition to his three-run homer, he had a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder's choice.
- Courtney reached base five times in nine plate appearances in the doubleheader and scored all five times.
- Sophomore Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.) drove in two runs in game one and was 3-for-7 in the doubleheader.
- Nivins had two runs scored and two RBI on the day.
- Junior Josh Mason (Woodland Hills, Calif.) was 1-for-6 with an RBI at the plate and pitched in both ends of the doubleheader. He earned the save with a scoreless seventh inning in game one.
- Junior Frankie Vanderka started game one and allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits over 5-2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.
- Zamora started game two and allowed seven runs on eight hits over 3-2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven. He now has a team-best 60 strikeouts this season.
- Freshman Chad Lee (San Dimas, Calif.) was outstanding in relief of Zamora, pitching four shutout innings. He surrendered two hits and two walks.
The Seawolves will play their final non-conference game of the season Wednesday when they host Sacred Heart at Joe Nathan Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.