Stony Brook School’s 13-1 win over Columbia Prep in the...

Stony Brook School’s 13-1 win over Columbia Prep in the NYSAIS baseball championship game on May 22. Credit: Amanda DeCesare

The Stony Brook School has existed for 102 years. The baseball program has competed for state titles since 1974. Never before had the Bears won a state baseball championship — until this year.

Stony Brook defeated Columbia Prep, 13-1, in the NYSAIS championship game at Purchase College on May 22 to bring home its first state title in program history. The Bears beat Trinity in the state quarterfinals, 8-3, on May 17 and Fieldston in the state semifinals, 12-0, on May 20 as part of a dominant postseason run.

It was just the second state tournament title in the private school's history, the other being the 2009 NYSPHSAA Class C girls soccer crown.

“It took me a couple weeks to really enjoy it,” coach Jon Brewer said. “Now that things have slowed down and school has ended, I’ve had some time to reflect on it. All of the hard work that the program has put in the past three years, and the kids that have left and the kids that are still here that’s been a part of that process, it’s truly taken a team- and program-wide effort.”

Brewer noted the turning point for Stony Brook (21-5) came after a 4-3 loss to longtime rival Poly Prep, which it lost to in the last two NYSAIS finals, on April 11.

“That loss was pretty disappointing for our team and Coach Brewer,” junior pitcher Leo Vitarelli said. “We kind of flipped the switch into more serious mode after that.”

The two teams met again on May 13, Stony Brook’s last game before the postseason. This time around, the Bears won, 6-0, and Vitarelli tossed a three-hitter.

Vitarelli, a Boston College commit who had a 5-2 record and a 1.64 ERA in 38 ⅓ innings, struck out 10 in five innings against Columbia Prep to earn the win in the state title game.

“When I decided on coming to the school, Brewer said that he wanted me to start in the state championship game,” Vitarelli said. “And that’s what happened.”

Outfielder Jordan Serrano, a Wake Forest commit, batted .429 with a 1.404 OPS. Brewer called infielder and leadoff man Larry Hotaling III, who hit .356, “Mr. Consistency.” Brewer said eighth-grade catcher Julian Martinez and freshman third baseman Mateo Lopez were the Bears’ “unsung heroes.”

Stony Brook will embark on a new era next season, adding a national team to pair with local varsity and development teams.

Said Hotaling: “The bond and the strength that we had together as a group of guys on this team was unlike any other team that I’ve ever been on before.”


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