This article was submitted by Canespace Blogger WGT22...
The Seawolves are the America East Conference Champions. And before you ask, yes, the American East Conference is a Division-1 conference fielding teams from Colleges and Universities like Albany, Boston U. Hartford, New Hampshire, Binghampton, Vermont and Maine.
Sounds like a hotbed for hockey teams but certainly not baseball champions, right. Well, this Stony Brook team is making a quite name for itself and it's Conference and on the diamond rather than on frozen pond of water.
Here are some quick facts about the Stony Brook Seawolves:
- They currently lead the entire Nation and have the # 1 winning percentage in College D-1 Baseball in the Country at a clip of .807 % and 46-11 record.
- They hit nearly .340 as a team compared to Miami's .260 team average.
- They are one of the Top fielding teams in the Country @ .980% and combine that with a stellar team pitching ERA of under 3.00. at 2.87.
- Of their 11 losses, 6 were by one run in games where each team scored under 5 runs. Another 3 losses by just 2 runs. And 10 of their overall 11 losses were by an total of just 15 runs.
- They have at least 3 MLB prospects in this years draft including Baseball America's # 1 Prospect and American East Player of the Year, All-American and Golden Spikes award finalist Travis Jankowski. This kid's a spray hitting machine, batting .411, with 77 career steals and 86 RBI in just 3 years.
- Their Big Stick is 6-2/220 3B William Carmona hitting .380 with 10 HR's and 60 RBI this year. The other 6 starters and their DH all hit between .300-.350 on the season.
- On the mound they boast 2 solid starters plus a true stopper that all received various Conference and National honors as well. The Canes will likely face the Seawolves and America East's Conference Pitcher of the year Righthander Tyler Johnson. 9-1 in 12 starts, 1.76 ERA, 40 k's, 76 innings pitched with only 1 HR allowed all season. Good arm, but not just a thrower. A true Pitcher in that he works locations, changes speeds with movement basically letting hitters get themselves out rather than just trying to blow it by batters. But he can be upper 80's-low 90's sneaky fast. His go to out pitches are heavy sinkers and change-ups with great location being the key to his success. No doubt Patience, fouling of pitches and a good 2-strike approach to up Johnson's pitch count is what I'm sure Canes Hitting instructor Gino DiMare will be preaching and imbedding these next few days into his Miami batters minds.
- RHP Brandon McNitt is the #2 starter. Another smaller but hard thrower at 5-10/180. 14 starts, 8-2, 87 innings 55 k's with a 2.26 ERA and also only 1 HR allowed all season.
- At the end of games for the Seawolves is when the ball is handed over to 6-2/205 Righty Frankie Vanderka. He boasts solid numbers with a 1-2 record, 5 saves, 2.22 ERA, 39 k's in 48 inngs. with a paltry .181 against B.A. against him.
Now I know there are some of "U" Cane fans out there that will scoff, roll your eyes and say "Stony Brook"? Really? Puuuuleeease! Well let me tell you. They are not a bunch of Upper Long Islander stick ball playing scrubs. They were a lot closer to being a solid #3 National seed than a lower #4 seed. This is a good, solid team with excellent fundamentals.
As for Miami they will start #1 pitcher Erik Erickson as they know that they MUST win this first game. To even take a chance on having to come from the losers bracket and have to essentially play maybe two more games than the team on the winners side could spell their doom.
Sure UCF and Mizzou. St. are also very good and deep teams. But I guarantee the sleeper of this entire 64 team field could very well be Stony Brook, and that is a consensus opinion from many, many baseball people I've spoken with lately from around the Country. There were lots of thoughts that they very well could have been a solid #3 seed and placed closer to home in an Atlantic or North East Regional. But ironically enough, the snowbird New Yorkers were sent South to Miami. Tough break!
This is why many are now calling The Coral Gables Regional not just one of the most underrated Regionals but one of, if not the toughest to get through of all of the 16 Regional sites and make it next round to a Super Regional.
So please College Baseball fans of the Miami Hurricanes, do yourselves a favor and DO NOT take this opening game with lil' 'ol Stony Brook lightly.
Get out to the games early and in numbers this entire weekend. Let's make "The Light" what it should be...The Mecca of College Baseball.
Wanna know a little more about Stony Brook? Here you go: