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3 of a kind for Stony Brook's Vanderka
It was the seventh inning stretch and Stony Brook's Frankie Vanderka figured he could do it. The senior righthander was just nine outs away from the third no-hitter of his career.
The MacArthur High School graduate got it done in grand fashion as he induced two groundouts and struck out Billy bullard for the final out in the ninth inning of Stony Brook's 7-0 win over Albany in the first game of an America East conference double header Saturday.
Stony Brook took the second game, 6-2.
"[Catcher Anthony Italiano] and me were on the page," said Vanderka, who threw 126 pitches. "We worked at a fast pace and kept them off balance."
Vanderka used a variety of pitches, including a two-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup, to keep the Great Danes off balance.
Vanderka tossed no-hitters against Fordham in 2013 and NJIT in 2011. He holds his most recent performance in higher regard than the other two.
"I put this one above the other two because this was a conference win," he said.
It was a solid win for Stony Brook (8-9, 2-0), which began the season 0-6.
Vanderka made a name a name for himself after tossing a three-hitter against LSU that sent Stony Brook to the College World Series in 2012.
So how good can this team be?
"I feel a lot better about this year than I do did about last year," Vanderka said. "We're a little more of a team this year."