ORONO, Maine — Stony Brook has built a reputation as a perennial America East title contender because of its ability to execute in all phases of the game.
The Seawolves did just that in sweeping a conference doubleheader from the University of Maine on Friday.
Stony Brook made two defensive gems to outlast the Black Bears 8-5 in the 13-inning opener, then rode outstanding pitching and timely hitting to a 3-1 win in the nightcap at Mahaney Diamond.
“It’s just frustrating for the team to go through this back-to-back weeks,” said senior Scott Heath of Westbrook. “It’s just something that we’ve got to look at ourselves and we’ve got to win these games.”
Coach Steve Trimper’s UMaine team failed to get hits in key situations, committed a costly error and could not rebound from the opening-game setback.
“We’re not doing the little things right, it’s as simple as that,” Trimper said of the Black Bears (9-17, 1-4 AE), who have lost three in a row.
“Those little things win those close ballgames … (we’re) looking back at half their losses in close ballgames that one play is dictating those losses,” he added.
In Game 1, Toby Handley made a defensive gem and delivered an RBI single to score the eventual winning run to propel Stony Brook (12-11, 6-2 AE).
The Seawolves registered 20 hits, spearheaded by five singles from Rob Chavarria. Handley posted a triple and three singles with an RBI, Jack Parenty drove in two runs with a triple, a double and a single, and Casey Baker added three singles.
Freshman left-hander Teddy Rodliff (1-0) spaced five hits and one run with two strikeouts and two walks in five innings to pick up the win in relief.
UMaine collected 16 hits, including a double and two singles (2 RBIs) from Brett Chappell and three singles (RBI) from Sam Balzano of Portland. Brian Doran plated two runs with a pair of singles, while Heath and Christian Garabedian each stroked two doubles and Shane Bussey singled twice.
Freshman Justin Courtney of Bangor allowed one earned run in 6⅔ innings and Logan Fullmer scattered nine hits and allowed two runs in 5⅓ innings.
However, closer Charlie Butler (1-3) faltered when he came on in the 13th. Bobby Honeyman singled through the right side with one out and Cole Peragine worked a two-out walk. Handley followed with single to center, then Parenty laced a two-run single to provide insurance runs.
“I just didn’t execute some pitches I needed to make to get some critical outs,” Butler said.
“I just need to make better pitches.”
Stony Brook, which erased a four-run deficit, scored two unearned runs in the seventh when catcher Kevin Stypulkowski’s throw after a third strike in the turf sailed over first base. The Seawolves tied it in the eighth on three infield singles and Johnny Caputo’s safety squeeze bunt.
“We had the lead and just kind of made some mistakes,” Heath said. “We didn’t play well at the end of the game and it cost us. We had a bunch of chances to score again, couldn’t do it.”
UMaine threatened in the eighth after Garabedian’s leadoff double. With one out, Stypulkowski flied out to center field and Handley gunned out Garabedian at the plate.
In the 10th, with Heath (walk) at third and Chappell (double) at second, third baseman Caputo robbed Stypulkowski with a diving stab of his hot smash and threw to first for the final out.
“We just didn’t execute what we wanted to today,” Balzano said. “We got guys in scoring position there at the end and they made some good plays on defense and we just couldn’t get the run in.”
In the second game, UMaine could not solve the Seawolves’ 1-2 pitching punch. Kevin Kernan (2-0) gave up four hits and one run through fourth innings, then Cameron Stone struck out eight of the 10 batters he faced to pick up the save.
“(Stone) was throwing pretty good velocity with his fastball and he was throwing his changeup for strikes as well. We obviously struggled with him hitting,” Balzano said.
Handley singled twice with an RBI and Cole Peragine had two hits against Heath (3-3), who spaced eight hits and three runs while going the distance.
Bussey had two singles among only four hits for the Black Bears, who took a 1-0 lead in the first on Heath’s sacrifice fly.
Stony Brook equalized in the second when Caputo’s infield hit scored Chavarria (double), then re-took the lead in the fourth when Chavarria walked, moved up on a sacrifice bunt, and rode home on Malcolm Nachmanoff’s single.
Stony Brook added an insurance run in the seventh with two out against Heath on Peragine’s single and Handley’s double to right.