This was an America East Conference championship game Stony Brook will long remember. UMBC will, too -- for very different reasons.
The top-seeded Seawolves allowed second-seeded UMBC to score seven runs in the first inning of the tournament final Saturday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts, but they didn't have much time -- or much need -- to worry about it.
That's because they came back with a tournament-record 11 runs in the top of the second en route to a 16-11 victory that put them in the NCAA Tournament.
"We always talk about answering back when we get down early, and never in my wildest imagination did I ever think we would come back with 11 runs,'' said coach Matt Senk, whose team finished with 19 hits and 16 walks. "We always preach answering back, and we did that tonight."
Stony Brook (34-14-1) had five hits and six walks in the big inning. Toby Handley had a two-run single and an RBI single, Freshman DH Malcolm Nachmanoff had a pair of RBI singles and Cole Peragine added a two-run single. Two more runs scored on bases-loaded walks.
Handley finished with four hits and Peragine and Casey Baker added three each.
Stony Brook will find out where it's headed when the NCAA Tournament selection show airs live on ESPNU at noon Monday. "This is an unbelievable feeling,'' said Senk, whose Seawolves put together a remarkable run and made it all the way to the College World Series in 2012. "I could not be more proud of these young men, my coaches, the athletic department that we are a part of and our university."
Sophomore Cameron Stone was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player and was named to the all-tournament team. He recorded saves in the first two Stony Brook wins and pitched 41/3 scoreless innings in three appearances in the tournament. Stone pitched a perfect 12/3 innings to extend his scoreless-innings streak to 24. He has not allowed a run since his first appearance of the season.
Joining Stone on the all-tournament team were sophomore lefthander Daniel Zamora, senior second baseman Robert Chavarria and freshman third baseman Bobby Honeyman (Coram).
With his RBI single up the middle in the fourth, sophomore first baseman Baker (Ronkonkoma) extended his hitting streak to 18 games. He finished the game with three hits and is 37-for-76 (.486) in those 18 games, including 11 multi-hit games and eight three-hit games.
Sophomore shortstop Jeremy Giles walked six times, breaking the record for walks in an America East Conference Tournament game. Chavarria walked five times.