Senk apologizes for player's breach of baseball etiquette

Stony Brook baseball coach Matt Senk watches as Stony Brook baseball coach Matt Senk watches as his team loses to Albany 4-1 in a 2011 America East Conference Baseball Championship playoff game at Stony Brook. (May 27, 2011) Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- After a huge victory over the University of Miami -- both in terms of the 10-2 score and the significance of the regional tournament game -- Stony Brook baseball coach Matt Senk started his news conference late Friday night with . . . an apology.

The issue was Stony Brook leftfielder Steven Goldstein's eighth-inning steal of second base with his team leading 9-2.

"I'd like to apologize to coach Jim Morris and his fine Miami team for the miscommunication that took place," Senk said. "I felt compelled to take action and pull that player [Goldstein]."

Senk, who said the steal with such a big lead was, in essence, unnecessary and against the etiquette of baseball, replaced Goldstein with pinch runner Sal Intagliata.

"I feel badly about that [play]," Senk said. "We were not interested in stealing at that point. We were going to go station to station. We have a sign to not steal. [Goldstein] missed the sign . . . or I did not give the sign clearly enough.

"It's unfortunate, but I hope it doesn't take away from an outstanding effort by our players."

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Stony Brook (47-11) advanced to Saturday night's winners'-bracket game against Central Florida (44-15). SBU started Brandon McNitt against Central Florida, which beat Missouri State, 2-1, in Friday's early game.

Miami's Morris also started his news conference with an apology of sorts. "I probably shouldn't say this, but this is the worst big game that the University of Miami has played in my entire coaching career," said Morris, who is in his 19th year at the school. "That goes for all phases of the game. I'm very sad to see how we played. Stony Brook played outstanding and we played the opposite."

On Saturday afternoon, it got sadder for the host Hurricanes, who were eliminated by Missouri State, 12-2. Starter Steven Ewing lasted only two-thirds of an inning, allowing seven runs.

Keenen Maddox went 3-for- 4, including two doubles, and had four RBIs for Missouri State. Brock Chaffin also had three of the Bears' 15 hits. Pierce Johnson, the highest-ranking prospect in the regional, according to Baseball America, allowed two runs in eight innings.

Morris, who has led the Hurricanes to two College World Series titles and is a big part of the school's NCAA-record streak of 40 consecutive years making the regionals, answered some tough questions after Saturday's game regarding his future in Miami.

"Our fans, along with me, are very spoiled," Morris said. "We expect to go to Omaha [for the College World Series] every year. I know [fans] are coming for my head -- I'm not crazy. I've heard people say [they want me gone]. I don't read it.

"We just have to get better. We have to have better recruiting classes."

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