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Stony Brook baseball preview

Jack Parenty is more than willing to let his play on the field do his talking. And if numbers could speak, his would scream.

Parenty, a reserved senior who directs questions back to how he can make the team better, is preparing for his final season with the Stony Brook baseball team. The Wantagh native has a .328 batting average — good for 10th in program history — through his first three seasons in which he started 152 of 164 games. He started all 52 games in his America East Conference Player of the Year season last year.

But Parenty’s more concerned about areas in which he can improve. He says he can be more patient at the plate,be more consistent and hit more line drives. Despite playing his three collegiate seasons in the outfield, he may be called upon to play some second base. Anything to help Stony Brook’s win total.

The Seawolves won their first America East title since 2012 last season and posted a 35-16-1 record behind Parenty’s conference leading .367 batting average. He led Stony Brook in nearly every category, from triples to RBIs to stolen bases to fielding percentage.

“Last year I felt good at the plate, I felt good all around,” Parenty said. “It was an honor to win that award and after winning an America East championship, looking back at it, it was a good year.”

Since Parenty was 7 years old, all he’s wanted to do was play baseball. It takes him a few seconds to list off other hobbies. His father even built a batting cage in the backyard and they trained every day.

“I always liked playing baseball,” Parenty said, “so I was just going to run with it as long as I could.”

After winning two championships at Holy Trinity, the next step was picking a college. He wasn’t set on playing near home, he just wanted to find the school best for him.

“Everyone has the dreams to go to that big, fancy D-I school, but Stony Brook was definitely the right fit for me because I was able to play right away,” Parenty said. “I had a good relationship with the coaches so it worked well.”

After a strong fall campaign, he started 52 of 59 games as a freshman and hit a team-leading .333 en route to winning America East Rookie of the Year.

“I thought it was going to be a little bit of a process,” Parenty said, “but I think I played well to earn some opportunities to play in the spring and I just took advantage of the opportunities.”

Coach Matt Senk described Parenty as an “offensive force” and said his personal accomplishments demonstrate the senior’s work ethic.

Stony Brook enters the season ranked No. 26 in the Collegiate Baseball Fabulous 40 preseason poll — its highest ranking since the end of the 52-win 2012 season. Parenty believes the Seawolves could do something special this year, but for himself, his goals are simple.

“Just play well,” Parenty said. “Hopefully play similar to how I did last year and see if I can help the team win by doing that.”

Enough said.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Casey Baker, 1B, OF, Jr.

The versatile Baker led Stony Brook with four home runs and was tied for second with 35 RBIs last season. His .317 batting average ranked third on the team.

Johnny Caputo, 3B, Sr.

Caputo had 18 RBIs in 28 games before suffering a season-ending injury to his non-throwing shoulder. He started all 59 games at third base as a freshman in 2013.

Tyler Honahan, P, Sr.

Honahan returns off an All-America East selection. He went a 7-3 with a 4.13 ERA and struck out 65 batters in 76 1/3 innings.

Toby Handley, CF, Jr.

Handley, an All-America East first-team selection, ranked second on the team with a .330 batting average and went 5-for-12 in the NCAA Tournament last season. The No. 2 hitter led the team with 45 runs.

Cameron Stone, P, Jr.

Stone holds the all-time program record for saves (14) and ERA (1.73) and was named America East Rookie of the Year and was selected to the freshman All-American team in 2014. Stone will be used as a starter and reliever this season after posting a 1.04 ERA in 26 innings last year.

New York Sports