Stony Brook Ends Bears' NCAA Run With Big Seventh-Inning Rally
June 3, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - An early five-run lead was not enough for the Missouri State Bears to extend their NCAA Championship run Sunday, as fourth-seeded Stony Brook scored seven times in the seventh inning to pull out a 10-7 victory at the Coral Gables Regional. Kevin Courtney's second double of the inning cleared the bases and broke a 7-all tie to ultimately propel the Seawolves to the come-from-behind win.
After being held to just three hits over the first six innings by MSU starter Cody Schumacher, Stony Brook broke out of its dry spell with four straight hits to start its key rally. Courtney got things started with a ringing double off the right field wall before Travis Jankowski, Pat Cantwell and William Carmona added singles to produce the Seawolves fourth and fifth runs of the game. Relievers Tyler Burgess and Erik Shannahan recorded a pair of outs to nearly escape the inning with the Bears' still in front, but a bases-loaded walk to Steven Goldstein knotted the score and Courtney delivered the decisive blow with a three-run double into the gap in left-center.
The Bears mounted one last attempt to keep their post-season hopes alive in the ninth, loading the bases via hits from Derek Mattea and Kevin Medrano and a walk to Brent Seifert. But James Campbell turned out the lights by fanning Keenen Maddox and Luke Voit in succession to end the game.
Missouri State, the regional's No. 3 seed, ended its season with a 40-22 overall mark, while the Seawolves (48-12) earned a rematch with second-seeded UCF Sunday evening.
The unfavorable finish followed a second straight strong start for Missouri State, which scored seven runs in the first inning of Saturday's 12-2 win over host and top seed Miami. On Sunday, the Bears struck early again, sending nine batters to the plate in the first inning, touching up Stony Brook starter Evan Stecko-Haley for five runs thanks to three hits and a critical error. Medrano and Spiker Helms drew back-to-back walks to start the game, and Maddox put MSU on the board with an RBI single to center. After Voit struck out, the Bears went on to tally four two-out runs to push their lead to 5-0. Brock Chaffin and Dylan Becker added run-scoring singles and a wild pitch brought home another tally. The Bears also capitalized on a throwing error by shortstop Cole Peragine to plate their final run of the frame. Stony Brook answered with a pair of unearned runs in their half of the first, taking advantage of errors by Medrano and Joey Hawkins on potential inning-ending double-play balls.
Maddox continued his hot streak at the plate in the second, staking Schumacher to a 7-2 lead when he belted a two-run homer off reliever Frankie Vanderka.
That would be all the Bears would get off Vanderka (2-2), however, as the right-hander held MSU to just one hit--a fifth-inning single by Maddox--until Mattea led off the ninth with a single. In all, Vanderka would blank the Bears over his final 6 1/3 innings of work to give his offense time to chip away at the MSU lead.
The Seawolves began their comeback with another unearned run in the fourth when Medrano bobbled a Peragine grounder, then threw wildly to first to give Stony Brook a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Goldstein made the Bears pay, driving home Peragine with an infield single for the first of his two RBIs on the day.
Burgess (5-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up a pair of runs on two walks in the seventh.
Maddox matched a career high for hits for the second consecutive day, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. The junior concluded the regional with a .500 batting average and seven RBIs in 14 at-bats over three games.