The Stony Brook Seawolves (19-19 overall, 9-3 America East) swept the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers (19-20, 7-9) in Saturday’s doubleheader on the strength of two excellent pitching performances by senior Chad Lee and freshman Bret Clarke.
In the first game, Lee went eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out three and walked two in the Seawolves’ 4-1 victory, while improving to 5-2 on the year.
“[Lee’s] changeup right now is nothing short of outstanding,” Stony Brook Head Coach Matt Senk said. “He just continues to give us one great outing after another.”
Lee missed his last start due to forearm soreness, but shut down UMBC. Entering the game, Lee had not allowed an earned run in 31 innings, but the Retrievers got on the board in the first inning on junior catcher Hunter Dolshun’s RBI single. That was all he would allow for the rest of the game.
“I wanted to make sure I got as much rest as possible so I could finish the season strong,” Lee said. “I just tried to battle today and mix in some off-speed pitches, and I got guys out, which is all that matters.”
Stony Brook took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth when junior shortstop Jeremy Giles hit an RBI single to left. The Seawolves would lead for the rest of the game.
Stony Brook sophomore designated hitter Andruw Gazzola gave Stony Brook its 4-1 lead when he hit a line drive off the glove of UMBC sophomore shortstop Mitchell Carroll, who was charged with an error on the play.
UMBC junior pitcher Cory Callahan fell to 2-2 on the season after allowing two runs on five hits in five innings.
Stony Brook junior pinch hitter David Real was the hero of the second game. The Seawolves trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the final inning of the game, before they rallied. Freshman left fielder Dylan Resk led the inning off with a double to left center. Senior Johnny Caputo sacrifice bunted him and junior right fielder Casey Baker to second and third base after Baker took a walk. Sophomore third baseman Bobby Honeyman tied the game with a single to center before Real hit a single into right field to win the game for Stony Brook.
“I had no information on [UMBC senior pitcher Denis Mikush] going into that at-bat other than the generic stuff they give us,” Baker said. “I was just trying to sit on a fastball over the plate and get some barrel on it, and I knew he had some good off-speed, so I just went for the first fastball I saw and it happened to work out.”
UMBC took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh off of Stony Brook sophomore pitcher Aaron Pinto when Dolshun hit an RBI single to left which scored senior designated hitter Kevin Lachance.
Clarke, a starting pitcher, received a no decision despite a strong five-inning outing. He allowed one run on four hits and four walks, and struck out 10 batters.
“You always have more energy when you come out and play in a tight game,” Clarke said. “After winning the first game, I knew I had to go out there and do my job.”
Clarke struggled in the fifth inning, but was able to get out of it after only allowing one run. UMBC sophomore third baseman Jamie Switalski hit an RBI single to left, which tied the game at one. Earlier in the inning, Dolshun just missed a three-run home run down the left field line. Clarke was able to register his 10th strikeout of the afternoon against junior center fielder Andrew Casali and get out of the inning.
“That freshman part of [Clarke], he’s like a stallion,” Senk said. “He’s got such a live arm and he’s so athletic, that I think he’s learning more about himself as we go along. We’ve tried to extend his innings and the number of pitches he throws, and let him learn under fire.”
Gazzola got Stony Brook on the board immediately in the bottom of the first when he scored on a passed ball after doubling down the left-field line.
UMBC senior starting pitcher Conrad Wozniak dropped to 5-3 on the year after a hard-luck loss. He went 6.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks. He struck out five.