Lowell, Mass. - Junior Brandon McNitt (Chino Hills, Calif.) pitched seven solid innings, allowing just one unearned run, and freshman Johnny Caputo (Toronto, Ontario) had three hits and an RBI to lead the Stony Brook baseball team to a 3-1 win over Albany in the loser's bracket of the 2013 America East Championship Thursday at LeLacheur Park.
With the season on the line, McNitt was brilliant, holding Albany to five hits and three walks while striking out four batters, and his defense played well behind him, coming up with big plays.
The win keeps Stony Brook's (25-33) hopes alive for a second straight tournament championship. The fourth-seeded Seawolves will play the loser of the winner's bracket game between Maine and Binghamton game Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. That game was suspended Thursday night due to rain with Binghamton leading 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Third-seeded Albany's season comes to a close at 23-25-1.
Turning Point Pitching and defense was on Stony Brook's side today. Leading 1-0 in the third inning, Albany placed a runner on second base with two outs. Brian Bullard singled to left field, and Joey Tracy rounded third and headed home. Freshman left fielder Jack Parenty (Wantagh, N.Y.) threw a bullet to home plate, where junior Anthony Italiano (Sayville, N.Y.) caught the ball and had plenty of time to apply the tag on Tracy to end the inning and prevent the Great Danes from scoring. The Seawolves went on to tack on a run in the fourth inning and an insurance run in the ninth inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Seawolves defense was at it again. With runners on first and third and no outs, junior Josh Mason (Woodland Hills, N.Y.) got Craig Lepre to pop out to sophomore right fielder Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.), who threw a strike back to the infield to prevent D.J. Hoagboon from tagging up at third. Then Mason induced Tracy to hit into a game-ending, 6-4-3 double play, keeping Stony Brook's season alive.
Inside the Numbers
Stony Brook out-hit Albany 8-7 and had the only extra-base hit of the game, a Krause third-inning double.
Caputo and sophomore Cole Peragine (Belle Ewart, Ontario) had multi-hit days for the Seawolves. For Caputo, who was 3-for-4, it was his fourth three-hit game of the season.
Caputo drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single up the middle in the first inning. He then scored the second run when Albany shortstop Gordon Madej booted a ground ball in the fourth inning.
Mason, who scored twice today, scored the third run in the ninth inning on freshman Brett Tenuto's (Audubon, N.J.) sacrifice fly.
McNitt pitched seven innings and allowed one unearned run. He scattered five hits and three walks while striking out four batters to improve to 4-6 on the season and lower his ERA to 3.36.
McNitt currently leads America East with 101-2/3 innings pitched.
Freshman Chad Lee (San Dimas, Calif.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, lowering his ERA to 2.09 this year.
Mason relieved Lee with two runners on in the ninth inning and got three outs for his fourth save of the year. He now has seven career saves, which ties him for seventh-best in program history.
News & Notes
Stony Brook won its 20th all-time America East Championship game (20-13).
The Seawolves won a loser's bracket game for the first time since 2006, when they lost to Maine and then defeated Albany and Vermont to reach the final before being eliminated by Maine.
Stony Brook is now 5-3 all-time against Albany in the tournament. It's the third time the Seawolves have eliminated the Great Danes in the tournament (2013, 2010, 2006).
Up Next The Seawolves have kept their championship hopes alive and will now play another elimination game Friday at 4 p.m. against the loser of the winner's bracket game between Maine and Binghamton, which was suspended Thursday night due to rain with Binghamton leading 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.