June 3, 2012

CBI Live: #4 Stony Brook 12, #2 UCF 5

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Seawolves Subdue Bears

By David Furones



CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Stony Brook recovered from two different early five-run deficits to come back and eliminate No. 3 seed Missouri State 10-7 Sunday at the Coral Gables Regional.


James Campbell struck out the Bears’ four and five hitters with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to save the game and advance the Seawolves into a meeting with the UCF Knights later in the evening.


“We still have a long way to go,” Stony Brook coach Matt Senk said. “We’re in that championship game and obviously excited about that and looking to take care of what we have to take care of and get this thing to tomorrow.”


A seven-run seventh turned a 7-3 Missouri State lead into a three-run Stony Brook lead that the Seawolves would not surrender.


“Give credit to Stony Brook,” Missouri State coach Keith Guttin said. “They had the big [seventh] inning on us, and that really hadn’t been done to us all year.”


With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of that seventh, nine-hole hitter Kevin Courtney, who also doubled to lead off the rally that frame, cleared the bases with a double over left fielder Keenen Maddox’s head for the game-winning hit.


“Courtney had two at-bats where he struck out and looked, I think Kevin would admit, grudgingly, overmatched,” Senk said. “Then he had a big hit and it just went from there.”


Missouri State reliever Erik Shannahan walked Steven Goldstein with the bases loaded to tie the game before granting Courtney way for the bases-clearing double.


Courtney finished 2 for 4 with the three RBI and one run. Center fielder and leadoff man Travis Jankowski pitched in with a 3-for-4 day.


The day started with Stony Brook (48-12) appearing to be down and out early. Starter Evan Stecko-Haley gave up five runs in the first and was pulled after getting an out in the second.


However, Frankie Vanderka came on in relief in the second, and after giving up two runs in that frame, held the Bears’ offense in check and took the game into the ninth for Campbell to close out.


“They told me I was first out of the pen,” Vanderka said. “I knew I didn’t have my all today. I just wanted to spot up, throw strikes and leave it to the defense.”


Vanderka put zero after zero on the board to keep the Seawolves in the game, and eventually earned the win for his 6.2 innings of relief. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked three and struck out three.


Vanderka said his cutter and off-speed were working for him Sunday to get Stony Brook through the game.


The first inning saw the Bears (40-22) hit through the order, scoring their five runs off three hits, a Stony Brook error and a wild pitch. In that frame, Maddox, who also hit a two-run home run in the second, lined an RBI single up the middle. Brock Chaffin and Dylan Becker also pitched in with RBI base hits of their own.


Maddox went 3 for 5 on the day with three RBI and two runs.


He finished the tournament hitting safely in six of his last nine at bats after his 3-for-4 outing Saturday to help eliminate host Miami.


Bears starter Cody Schumacher battled through four errors behind him and two unearned runs in the first inning to shut down the Stony Brook offense early, but it eventually all fell apart in the seventh.


“There’s nobody I would’ve rather had out there than Cody,” teary-eyed senior first baseman Brock Chaffin said after having played the last game of his collegiate career.


Schumacher was rolling without having given up an earned run until that seventh. He said the South Florida heat had his legs a bit fatigued heading into his last inning.


Guttin had to use four pitchers to get through the seven-run hit parade in the seventh.


Stony Brook gets less than two hours in between games to prepare for another elimination game against the team that defeated it last night, UCF. Senk announced junior Jasvir Rakkar (5-2, 3.46 ERA) as his starter. Rakkar has appeared in 16 games this season and has started in two.


Game Notes

·    Missouri State second baseman Kevin Medrano, who had previously committed just two errors all season, had two on one play Sunday and three on the day.

·    About watching the seven-run seventh from the dugout, Vanderka said, “It was great to watch. I just figured I’d still go out there and do what I was doing the whole game and leave it to the defense.”

·    On whether Campbell, who saved his second game of the regional Sunday, will be available for the game against UCF, Senk said, “I doubt it.”