Five players batted in runs for the Stony Brook Seawolves (1-2), but it wasn’t enough to take down the USC Upstate Spartans (3-0) after a huge three-run homer in the seventh inning by sophomore third baseman Jordan Ford.
After fighting tooth and nail for a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning, the seventh inning let the Seawolves down once again this season.
Ford launched a three-run blast to left center that gave the Spartans an 8-6 lead, which ended up being the final score in the final day of SBU’s games at Spartanburg, S.C. Stony Brook Head Coach Matt Senk was not content with the back-to-back losses this weekend.
“We are disappointed in finishing the weekend 1-2,” Senk said in a press release by the Athletic Department.
Ford and senior James Fowlkes led the Spartans with three RBIs each, both on home runs. Junior Casey Baker led the Seawolves with two RBIs. He has been red-hot with 8 RBIs in the first three games of his junior season.
Both starting pitchers earned no decisions as this game went back and forth early. Junior right-hander Connor Doyle took the mound for SBU and let up six hits on five runs through 4.2 innings pitched. He also struck out four in his first start of the season. His USC counterpart was senior righty Cody Brittain. He pitched four innings, struck out four and gave up two runs on five hits.
Freshman Colton Chupp came on in relief and got his second win of the season. He pitched 1.1 innings, struck out two and gave up no runs on three hits.
Sophomore Cole Creighton gave up two hits on two runs in his first loss of the season. Junior second baseman Hunter Gilbert got the Spartans on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. He grounded to third base but was able to drive home sophomore right fielder J.J. Shimko. He led off the inning and slapped a double into left field.
Stony Brook’s Casey Baker responded for the Seawolves in the top of the third with a two-RBI double to right center field. Sophomore right fielder Andruw Gazzola and junior center fielder Toby Handley scored on the play.
In the bottom of the fourth, James Fowlkes earned his three RBIs on a home run to left field, bringing home junior Pat Raiff and freshman Nick Bryson. Sophomore catcher Charlie Carpenter provided an insurance run for the Spartans in the fifth inning. He brought home junior shortstop Daniel Fickas on a double down the left field line to expand their lead to 5-2.
Stony Brook scored four runs on five hits in the sixth inning, and sophomore second baseman Bobby Honeyman started the show with an RBI triple that brought home junior catcher David Real. Junior shortstop Jeremy Giles singled to right center to bring home Honeyman. Giles then scored on an RBI single by Gazzola. To top it off, senior left fielder Jack Parenty hit an RBI infield single to drive in Handley, which then gave the Seawolves a 6-5 lead.
However, similar to their game against Wofford, the seventh inning proved to be an insurmountable challenge for the Seawolves. USC Upstate’s Ford belted a three-run homer off Creighton to give the Spartans an 8-6 lead. Gilbert and Fickas scored on the momentum changing play.
USC Upstate junior right-hander Richie Lacell came in to shut the door on the Seawolves and earned the save.
After letting up a two-run deficit, Stony Brook was out of answers and lost its second game this season. USC Upstate remains undefeated.
Stony Brook heads down to Waco, Texas to face the Baylor Bears (1-2) for a three-game weekend on Feb. 26, 27 and 28 at Ferrell Field.