Stony Brook gone, but not forgotten
Seawolves' incredible run ends with second loss in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. -- It may have been the end of incredible run for the Stony Brook baseball team as the unlikely College World Series participant fell to Florida State 12-2 on Sunday afternoon, but the Seawolves can be assured their story will be engrained in college baseball lore for a long time to come.
While the Seawolves were the America East Conference champions, they entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 4 seed and went on to survive two consecutive weekends at Miami and LSU – both traditional national powers.
Florida State head coach Mike Martin was impressed with the Seawolves, and made sure Stony Brook head coach Matt Senk and his staff knew it immediately following the game.
“To go into Alex Box Stadium and beat LSU is a feat that all of us would wish we could do,” Martin said. “That is a great place to play and a very difficult place to win. I just wanted to let them know that feat will be very difficult to match in years to come.”
Senk got choked up in the post-game press conference when asked to put his team’s journey in perspective after making the transition from a Division III program to a Division I national contender during his 22-year career.
“It means everything,” Senk said. “It means a lot.”
Centerfielder Travis Jankowski and third baseman William Carmona most likely saw their last action as college players after the juniors were picked in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft two weeks ago, but the experience in Omaha will stay with them forever.
“It’s tough right now after this loss but I'm sure as time wears on we'll reminisce on what we've done, and I'm sure we'll forget about these losses and raise our heads,” Jankowski said.
“It's a hard loss, but I look back on the season, and I think we did what no one thought we could ever do, what everyone thought was basically impossible,” Carmona said. “And we made it happen somehow. And I'll never forget that.”
In the next couple days, Senk will gather the 2012 Seawolves for the last time to make sure the seniors get a proper send-off, and the players can say their last farewell as some move on after graduation and professional baseball.
“In a couple of days, when we do that, it will be a lot easier,” Senk said. “I think it also makes it easier when everybody kind of parts company and they get one last chance to give each other a hug and wish everybody the best and to make the most of the summer, to get better and come back ready to go in the fall.”
The accomplishments of Senk and his players reached far beyond the close-knit college baseball community. The Seawolves garnered national media attention and answered the question, ‘where’s Stony Brook?’ multiple times.
During their run, the Seawolves ignited interest in Northeast college baseball, and the “mid-major” team even made headlines in the New York-area media, which are usually dominated by the area’s plethora of professional sports franchises.
“Hopefully, this team has done some things that will have a ripple effect that goes on for a long, long time as far as, like I said, for our athletic department, our university, the Long Island community,” Senk said. “I've heard so many people from Northeast baseball wishing us luck and saying how proud they were.”
Thank you Stony Brook Seawolves for reminding fans that anything can happen in this crazy game of baseball. College World Series-lovers will remember you for a long time to come.