Stony Brook earns first NCAA Tournament victory
Sophomore Tyler Johnson allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10 in eight innings as the Stony Brook baseball team earned its first NCAA Tournament victory in six tries Saturday, scoring six first-inning runs and defeating North Carolina State, 6-2, in a Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Regional elimination game.
"It's a major breakthrough for the program," coach Matt Senk said. "Every year you feel a little more like you belong and today, to break the ice, it's a very exciting and proud moment for the program."
Michael Stephan hit a two-run single, Tanner Nivins had an RBI double and Maxx Tissenbaum and Justin Echevarria had RBI singles in Stony Brook's six-run first inning.
The Seawolves (30-26) will play in another elimination game at 1 p.m. Sunday against Coastal Carolina (52-8), which defeated Stony Brook, 6-0, in a first-round game.
Johnson (10-3), who allowed six hits, set a program single-season record for victories. The two runs scored by the Wolfpack (38-24) were their second fewest this season.
After a double by Pat Cantwell and two hit batsmen, Robert Dyer drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Stony Brook's first run. Stephan followed with a single to right and Nivins' double made it 4-0. Tissenbaum, a freshman, and Echevarria added RBI singles in the 30-minute half-inning.
Johnson struck out the side in the eighth. William Carmona allowed two singles to start the ninth before picking up the final three outs.
It is the eighth 30-win season for the Seawolves under Senk and Stony Brook's second victory over an ACC team (the Seawolves beat Virginia last year). "This win was easily one of the biggest thrills I've ever had coaching," Senk said. "I can't be more proud of my team."
St. John's 8, VCU 6: Matt Wessinger homered twice and drove in four runs for St. John's in a Charlottesville (Va.) Regional elimination game. St. John's (41-19) will play another elimination game at 1 p.m. Sunday against Mississippi, which beat the Red Storm, 10-5, in the first round. Wessinger, Joe Panik and Jeremy Baltz hit three consecutive home runs in the first for the Storm.
Wittels' streak at 56Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games Saturday, but Florida International was eliminated by Dartmouth, 15-9, in the Coral Gables Regional. Wittels hit an RBI double in the top of the first inning, leaving him two games shy of the Division I record set by Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura in 1987. Wittels' attempt to break the mark will resume next season. Wittels went 3-for-5 and finished the season with a .417 average and a school-record 100 hits. - AP