June 5, 2010

Courtesy of Stony Brook Athletics

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Sophomore Tyler Johnson (Chatsworth, Calif.) allowed two runs in 8.0 innings and the No. 4 Stony Brook University baseball team scored six first-inning runs on its way to a 6-2 victory over the No. 3 North Carolina State Wolfpack in an elimination game at the Myrtle Beach Regional on Saturday afternoon at BB&T Coastal Field. Stony Brook improves to 30-26 with the victory, which is the programs first ever Division I NCAA Tournament win. The Seawolves will now play in another elimination game on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the loser of Saturday night's College of Charleston/Coastal Carolina contest.

Johnson tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts and allowed just six hits. It was the 10th victory of the season for Johnson, setting a program single season record. The two runs scored by the Wolfpack were their second fewest this season.

Stony Brook jumped on N.C. State starter Anthony Tzamtzis early as the first five Seawolves reached base. Sophomore Pat Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.) doubled to lead off before Tzamtzis hit juniors Chad Marshall (Paris, Ontario) and Stephen Marino (Lake Grove, N.Y.) to load the bases. Senior Robert Dyer (Selden, N.Y.) then drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run.

Senior Michael Stephan (Patchogue, N.Y.) followed with a two-run single through the right side to give the Seawolves a 3-0 lead. Freshman William Carmona (Hempstead, N.Y.) bunted into a fielder's choice for the first out but freshman Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario) followed with an RBI double to make it 4-0 and drive Tzamtzis from the game.

The Wolfpack brought in Vance Williams who was greeted with a run-scoring single from freshman Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ontario). Senior Justin Echevarria (Uniondale, N.Y.) followed with an RBI single to right to bring in Nivins and make it 6-0. The Seawolves sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, which lasted 30 minutes.

N.C. State got on the board in the second on a two-out RBI single from Matt Bergquist. The Wolfpack then loaded the bases against Johnson but Drew Poulk grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning. N.C. State added a run in the fifth on an Andrew Ciencin sacrifice fly.

The Wolfpack got a one-out single from John Gianis in the sixth but Johnson retired the final two hitters to get out of the inning before getting the side in order in the seventh. The Seawolves nearly added a run in the eighth as Nivins doubled with one out. Tissenbaum then sliced a single into left but the leftfielder Gianis threw out Nivins at the plate to keep the Stony Brook lead at four.

Johnson finished with a flourish, striking out the side in the eighth. Carmona relieved Johnson to start the ninth and gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning. But Carmona then got Tarren Senay to fly to center for the first out. Kyle Wilson then drove a line drive to centerfield that freshman Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, Pa.) was able to haul in in right-center field.

Carmona then got Dallas Poulk to hit a grounder to Marshall, who flipped to Tissenbaum for the force at second. It is the eighth 30-win season for the Seawolves under Senk. It is also the second victory over a school from the ACC for Stony Brook, which defeated No. 11 Virginia, 6-2, last season.

Postgame Quotes
Stony Brook Head Coach Matt Senk
Opening statement...

"I'm not sure where to begin. I am beyond excited for our school. Most of our athletic department is here and it has been an amazing year this year for Stony Brook athletics and to keep the year going for us with this win, this great year for the school, we couldn't be more proud to be a part of this university and department. I have great young men that play for me, great people that I work for, and to finally break through, this is our third NCAA tournament Appearance as a Division I program and we did win an NCAA game as a Division III program in 1995, but to have this breakthrough is beyond exciting and we couldn't be more pleased for our players and our university."

On beating an ACC team...
"It means a lot doing it against a big time conference. We went against Alabama earlier in the year, and we have made a point of going against the best competition we can. It's a philosophy we adopted this season as a team and what our march has been about. Last year in a midweek we played well enough to beat Virginia and this year to turn around and do this is extremely exciting, especially against the ACC. The fact that this comes against a major conference just makes it better."

Stony Brook Pitcher Tyler Johnson
"In the last couple weeks I've been feeling my pitches better, getting a bit stronger. My plan was the same as always, go out and throw my pitches for strikes. Going against an ACC team and to strike out that many guys is definitely not easy. They made it real hard on me. Throwing those pitches for strikes and letting them put the ball in play really allowed me to accomplish my goal today."