Baseball begins 2013 season at FIU this weekend

Kevin Krause

Feb. 14, 2013

2013 Stony Brook Baseball

Games 1-3: Stony Brook at Florida International
Feb. 15-17  •  FIU Baseball Stadium  •  Miami, Fla.

Game 1 - Friday, 6 p.m. Game 2 - Saturday, 4 p.m. Game 3 - Sunday, 1 p.m.
SB Starter: RHP Brandon McNitt
FIU Starter: RHP Mike Ellis 
SB Starter: RHP Frankie Vanderka
FIU Starter: LHP Tyler Alexander 
SB Starter: LHP Daniel Zamora
FIU Starter: TBA 


Stony Brook Seawolves (0-0, 0-0 America East)
Head Coach:
Matt Senk, 23rd season
Overall Record: 623-390-3
Record at SB:

Florida International Panthers (0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Head Coach: Turtle Thomas, sixth season
Overall Record: 161-129-1
Record at FIU: same 

Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook baseball program is coming off its greatest season in school history after advancing to the College World Series. Now in 2013, the Seawolves are ready to turn the page on last season and begin a new quest to once again reach Omaha.

The Seawolves will start by trying to win the America East regular season championship for a third straight year. Picked to win the league by the coaches in a preseason poll, the Seawolves are 43-5 in America East over the last two seasons. They will then chase the conference tournament title, which they have won in two of the last three seasons.

If Stony Brook wins the conference title, they will advance to the NCAA Tournament, where the Seawolves went 6-4 last season, including wins over Miami, Central Florida, Missouri State and LSU.

Coming back to chase Omaha are 18 letterwinners from last season's team, including six All-America East selections and three freshmen All-Americans. Joining Stony Brook are 11 talented newcomers, including a pair of freshmen who were drafted by Major League Baseball teams in 2012.

Starting Rotation
The Seawolves pitching staff led America East in earned run average by a wide margin last season, posting a 3.15 ERA and allowing just 498 hits in 570-2/3 innings. The numbers were in large part due to junior Brandon McNitt (Chino Hills, Calif.), who was a first-team All-America East selection last season after posting an 8-4 record with a 2.76 ERA that ranked second in the league only to teammate Tyler Johnson.

McNitt will anchor the staff on Fridays, and junior Frankie Vanderka (Levitttown, N.Y.) will be the Saturday starter. Vanderka was a second-team All-America East selection last season after posting a 2.33 ERA mainly in relief. He'll be forever remembered for throwing a complete game in Stony Brook's Super Regional clinching victory over LSU at Alex Box Stadium.

The third spot in the rotation on Sundays will be taken by freshman Daniel Zamora (La Puente, Calif.), a talented left-hander who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round of the MLB Draft. He's a strike thrower who reaches 90 mph on his fastball.

Weekday starting rotation assignments could go to freshman Tyler Honahan (Parker, Colo.), who has an upper 80s fastball with developing secondary pitches.

Stony Brook's main reliever in 2013 will be junior Josh Mason (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who held opponents to a .219 batting average in relief last season. Mason delivers from the right side while senior G.C. Yerry comes in from the left side. Yerry was a lefty specialist last season and had a 3.31 ERA in 16-1/3 innings last season.

Other pitchers competing for time on the mound include juniors Josh Barry (Seaford, N.Y.) and Zachary Uher (Freeport, N.Y.), sophomore Bryan Tatelman (South Windsor, Conn.), redshirt freshman Nick Brass (Shirley, N.Y.) and freshmen Tim Knesik (Milford, Pa.), Chad Lee (San Dimas, Calif.), C.J. Schildt (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Kenny Ball (Azusa, Calif.).

Two of Stony Brook's four starters from last season return. Shortstop Cole Peragine (Belle Ewart, Ontario) hit .304 as a freshman last season on his to earning Freshman All-America honors. A switch hitter, Peragine knocked in 39 runs and played strong defense last season. Junior first baseman Kevin Courtney (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) has been a clutch hitter for the Seawolves in his first two seasons. He hit .293 with four homers and 38 RBI last year. He plays strong defense at first base.

Newcomers to the infield include freshman second baseman Brett Tenuto (Audubon, N.J.) and freshman third baseman Johnny Caputo (Toronto, Ontario). Tenuto, brother to former Seawolves softball third baseman Bernadette Tenuto, is athletic and possesses strong offensive tools. Caputo was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB Draft and is an advanced hitter with power to all fields. He should find his way into the middle of the Seawolves lineup.

Battling for playing time in the infield will be freshmen Austin Shives (San Diego, Calif.) and Jack Parenty (Wantagh, N.Y.). Junior Gabriel Pena (Bronx, N.Y.) will also contend for playing time once he recovers from injury.

Stony Brook has two returning outfielders from last season. First-team All-America East right fielder Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario) hit .306 with 16 extra-base hits and 34 RBI last season while playing strong defense. Steven Goldstein (East Meadow, N.Y.) shifts from left field to center this season. Goldstein is a strong defender but also is developing offensive prowess. He hit .337 with four homers and 34 RBI last season. He is one of best base stealing threats on the team. He swiped 14 bags last season.

Junior Michael Hubbard (Northridge, Calif.) and sophomore Michael Roehrig (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) are the front runners for the left field and designated hitter roles. Hubbard is a strong athlete with plus speed, and Roehrig is a spray hitter with developing power.

Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.) served as Stony Brook's designated hitter and backup catcher in 2012. He will now be the primary backstop and offensive threat. A Freshman All-American last season, Krause hit .330 with 15 extra-base hits and 40 RBI last season. He has a strong arm from behind the plate. Junior Anthony Italiano (Sayville, N.Y.) will serve as backup.