For the first time since 2015 season, the Stony Brook Seawolves (31-21) are heading back to the NCAA Division 1 baseball tournament. The fourth-seeded Seawolves are heading back to a familiar place. The go to Baton Rouge, LA. where they will face the LSU Tigers (37-24) out of the Southeastern Conference and the number one seed in this regional. The last time these two teams met was in the Super Regional of 2012 in which the Seawolves pulled off the upset beating the Tigers and moving on to Omaha.
Stony Brook made the tournament by sweeping the America East tournament last weekend in Binghamton, N.Y. The three wins were won by a combined four runs. The title was the sixth for Stony Brook and the first since 2015. Junior, Brandon Bonanno, recorded two wins on the mound while junior Michael Wilson hit a pair of home runs to increase his total to ten on the season.
The Seawolves were one of the better defensive teams in the nation. Their fielding percentage of .981 was the best in America East and was eighth nationally. They committed 35 errors in 52 games, and have not made an error in their last five games. Greg Marino will get the ball for Friday night’s start against the Tigers. In 86.2 IP, Marino has struck out 75 batters. Throwing strike one will be a key to any success he may have. Marino will be backed up on the hill by Bret Clark, 8-0, 3.76 ERA, 12 starts in 13 appearances. The closer role is being handled by Sam Turcotte who has seven saves, a 4-2 record, 3.98 ERA, 40.2 IP, 45 SO, and 41 hits allowed. Stony Brook has a team earned run average of 5.30.
Their offense, is led by America East first team shortstop Nick Grande .342 batting average, .523 slugging percentages, nineteen stolen bases in 25 attempts. And has played in all fifty-two games this year for the Seawolves. Michael Wilson another first-team all conference player, .345 BA, ten home runs, 44 RBI, .637 slugging percentages.
The LSU Tigers, 37-24 in the west division of the Southeastern Conference, finished third in that race. The Tigers are making their eighth straight appearance and their 32nd overall. This will be the 26th time they have hosted and in the previous 25, the Tigers have won 21 of them. LSU comes into this regional having won seven of their last ten games and produced 21 wins over top 50 RPI teams. It’s the fifth-highest total in the nation.
Shortstop Josh Smith brings a nine-game hitting streak (14-for-42, .326, three doubles, one home run, six RBI, six runs scored) to the series. Catcher Saul Garza is hitting .400 (24-for-60) since April 17. He has five doubles, four home runs, nine RBI, ten runs scored. Landon Marceaux is expecting to get the ball vs Stony Brook on Friday night. He is 4-2, 4.93 ERA, 49.1 IP, 18 BB, and 38 SO,
The other matchup scheduled for Friday is Southern Miss vs Arizona State. The double-elimination tournament runs through the weekend.