BALTIMORE – Senior captain Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) went 2-for-3 in both games, but it was not enough, as the UMBC baseball team was swept in a doubleheader by Stony Brook, Friday at Alumni Field in America East play.
Sophomore Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) dueled with Stony Brook starter Frankie Vanderka in game one, but the Seawolves prevailed, 5-3, as Vanderka tossed his fourth complete game of the season.
In the night cap, Stony Brook (30-15, 15-4 AE)jumped on UMBC senior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) early for four runs in the first and then visiting starter Brandon McNitt limited the UMBC (15-26, 6-14 AE) offense as the visitors swept the twin bill with an 11-3 win.
The teams will wrap up the series on Saturday with a single game as UMBC celebrates Senior Day by honoring eight student-athletes. Game time has been pushed back one hour to a 1:00 p.m. start with the senior ceremony scheduled for 12:40 p.m.
Stony Brook started quickly in the opener as Jack Parenty sent the first pitch of the game back up the middle. He stole second and moved to third on a ground out and then gave the visitors the lead on an RBI single down the left field line by Kevin Krause. Stephenson then got a fly out and senior catcher Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) cut down Krause trying to steal second to get out of the inning. The string started a run in which the Retriever right-hander recorded 12 consecutive outs.
Stephenson's stretch provided time for the UMBC offense to figure out Vanderka and the hosts pulled level in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore third baseman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) started the inning by doubling off the left field wall, the first hit against the Seawolf starter. Following a fly to right and a pop to first, Coluccio roped a single to left to chase Esposito around.
Both teams went down in order in the sixth, but Stony Brook rallied for three runs against Stephenson in the top of the seventh. With runners on second and third, Casey Baker broke the tie with a sac fly to center, and then the Seawolves added two more for a 4-1 lead. The next inning Baker pushed the advantage to four, 5-1, with an RBI single through the right side.
The Retrievers pegged back in the bottom of the seventh. McCabe laced a double to right-center with one down, and two batters later, sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centrevill) shot a single down the right field line, scoring McCabe, but was cut down trying to advance to second.
Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) held the Seawolves off the board in the ninth and UMBC put together one last rally in the bottom half. With two outs, it again was Espostio who started things with another double to left. Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) followed by yanking a double down the line to score pinch runner Nick Naumann (Essex, Md./John Carroll). Vanderka cut the rally short, however, getting a hard ground out to end the game.
The Seawolves jumped out to an early lead again in the second game, scoring four times in the first against Gill. The Retriever veteran settled down and held Stony Brook off the board in the next two innings, but UMBC could not push anything across against McNitt, despite putting runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the second.
In the fourth, Stony Brook plated three more runs as Robert Chavarria, Krause, and Cole Peragine all connected for RBI singles to push the lead to 7-0.
Two innings later, UMBC got on the board as the Retrievers loaded the bases with one out and then freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) sent a sacrifice fly to center to score McCabe who had led off with a single up the middle.
The lead grew to 11-1, though, in the next frame as Peragine registered another RBI on a single to center then then Johnny Caputo hit his second home run of the year, a three-run shot to center. UMBC pegged back for a run in the home half as McCabe beat out an infield roller and Dolshun scored from third.
In the bottom of the seventh, UMBC put together one last rally with junior Ryan Sliwak (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh/Nassau CC) drawing a lead-off walk. Junior Robert Hopp (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) then slapped the first pitch he saw down the left field line for a double, his first career hit, to send Sliwak racing around to third. After a strike out, Dolshun sent a fly to center to bring in Sliwak.
- Stony Brook now leads the all-time series 41-9.
- Dolshun reached base twice in the second game on dropped third strikes.
- Hopp was hitless in four previous career at-bats.
- McCabe is now batting .372 (16-for-43) in 16 career games against Stony Brook.