Stony Brook Sweeps Doubleheader to Take Series from UMBC

Sophomore Kevin Ladner
Sophomore Kevin Ladner

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Stony Brook starter Frankie Vanderka threw a three-hit shutout in game one and Kevin Courtney went 2-for-4 with a two-run homerun in game two as Stony Brook swept a doubleheader from UMBC to clinch the America East series, Saturday afternoon at Joe Nathan Field.

After UMBC (7-11, 4-5 AE) took yesterday's series opener in ten innings behind the arms of Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) and Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep), Vanderka put Stony Brook (9-17, 4-5 AE) on his back on Saturday to level the series at a game apiece.  The junior righty went the distance in the seven-inning affair as the Seawolves took the opener 8-0.

Retriever rookie Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) took the loss to fall to 0-2 after giving up four earned runs on just three hits. Mikush also struck out two batters but surrendered three free passes.

The Seawolves got to Mikush early as Jack Parenty and Cole Peragine walked to put the first two runners on base.  The right-hander looked to escape the trouble by getting the next two batters, but catcher Anthony Italiano lined a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer, and that is all Vanderka would need.

Freshman shortstop Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville), who went 4-for-5 in yesterday's extra-inning contest, picked up the Retrievers' first base-hit of the game to lead off the fourth, but Stony Brook has already claimed a 6-0 lead.  UMBC threatened though as sophomore Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) then reached on an infield single to put two runners on with none down.  A strike out, fly out, and pop up, though, killed the rally.

The Seawolves added single runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to cap the scoring and knot the series to force a rubber game.

The hosts started brightly in the second game, as well, as Parenty led off with a single through the right side and then Courtney hit a two-out homerun to right-center for the early 2-0 lead.  Stony Brook continued the inning by loading the bases before sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) relieved freshman Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) and got the third out on a pop to short.

Ladner limited the Seawolves over the next four innings, yielding just two runs, one earned, on three hits.

After Stony Brook extended the lead to 4-0 with a run in the fourth, UMBC got back into it with a run of its own in the top of the fifth.  With two down, senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) walked and freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) followed with a single up the middle.  Lachance, who went 2-for-4 in the second game, promptly stepped up and drove an 0-1 pitch through the left side to plate Gilchrist and cut the lead to 4-1.

Both staffs held the opposing lineup scoreless over the three trips to the plate before the hosts plated a run in the bottom of the eighth.

UMBC made one last attempt to steal the series and drew within three at 5-2, by scoring a run in the ninth.  Sophomore Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) was hit by a pitch with one down and then came around to score two batters later as a ball off the bat of Gilchrist was misplayed in center.  That was all the Retrievers could get as the game ended on a ground out to short.

The Retrievers return to Maryland for a non-conference game against UMES in Princess Anne, Md. on Wednesday before concluding their season-long eight-game road trip with a weekend series at Hartford.  First pitch between UMBC and UMES is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          With the two wins, Stony Brooks improves its all-time record against UMBC to 36-8.

-          The Retrievers have not won a series against the Seawolves since 2004, the first-ever series, when they took two of three.

-          UMBC has won the first game in each of its three conference series so far this spring.

-          Junior John Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) threw 1.2 innings of scoreless ball in game two to extend his streak to 14.1 innings without giving up a run.  The last time he allowed a runner to cross the plate was Mar. 13 at Georgetown.

-          Lachance finished the series 7-for-12 (.583) and now has a five-game hit streak.

-          The Retriever staff notched two strikeouts in game one and four in game two to extend their streak to 84 consecutive games with at least one K.