#31 Stony Brook Baseball Preview

Stony Brook Seawolves

Overall Rank: #31
Conference Rank: #1 American East

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Before last season if you took a poll to see how many people have heard of Stony Brook, not very many would have recognized the name. But then 2012 happened. The Seawolves had an unforgettable season. They were a true media darling, a true Cinderella story, and had the best season in program history. They set a program record, accumulating 52 wins and shocked the world, making the College World Series. That is a tough act to follow, but this year the Seawolves will not be underdogs and are looking to make noise once again.

2012: 52-15, 21-3
2012 Postseason: CWS
Coach: Matt Senk

Field Players:
Outfielder Steven Goldstein and catcher Kevin Krause, who also sees time in the outfield, are going to be relied upon to be the productive bats in this lineup. This sophomore duo lit up opposing pitchers as freshman a season ago. Goldstein slugged .494, drove in 34 runs, smacked four homeruns, and hit an impressive .337. The double machine also swiped 14 bases. With a year of seasoning, he should increase his power numbers and will likely be running even more this season. Krause had an equally impressive freshman campaign, where he hit .330, scored 38 runs, drove in 40 runs, and ripped 12 doubles. He has decent speed, snatching six bases on eight attempts. This young and productive duo will have a lot of pressure on them to replace some big bats in the lineup. Both are looking to build on their great, young careers.
Frankie Vanderka, a junior righty, had a tremendous year a season ago. He proved to be a jack of all trades. He posted a dominating 2.33 ERA, which led the team. He has 21 appearances, six of them starts. He had five saves, three complete games, and struck out 47 batters in 65.2 innings of work. Fellow right handed hurler Brandon McNitt will be the veteran leader of the starting rotation. Last season, used exclusively as a starter, he pitched in 17 games. He had one complete game, but earned a low 2.76 ERA. He was 8-4 and worked through 104.1 innings, leading the team. He only surrendered five homeruns all season long. Not giving up the long ball was critical to his success because he made teams work for their runs, rather than scoring quickly and in bunches. The Seawolves have to feel confident when he has the ball in his hands.  His starting experience, as well as his ability to work deep into games, will be extremely valuable to this team.

Who to Watch:
Rounding out the trio of last season’s productive freshman is infielder Cole Peragine. Last year he started all 66 games for the Seawolves and will likely be asked to do the same thing again this year. He hit .304 and drove in 39 runs in his 66 starts. He tacked on eight stolen bases as well. This year he will be asked to put up similar numbers. His career is just getting started, but he is certainly a player to keep an eye on and has a very bright future. Look for Cole to run more often as well to help Stony Brook put pressure on other teams and get into scoring position.

Final Projection:
This team caught everyone by surprise last year, but people will be watching out this season. They should make the NCAA tournament, at the very least, by dominating conference play again this season. They lost some key players, but have many young guys who can step up and play at a high level. Of course the question with young players is their consistency, and that could hurt them this season. They may try to be more active on the base paths to help counteract the production they lost in their lineup from a season ago. Regardless of what happens this season, they still have a bright future with just two seniors on their roster this year.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Cole Peragine, IF, 214
Hits: Kevin Krause, C/OF, 69
Home Runs: Steven Goldstein, OF, 4
RBIs: Kevin Krause, C/Of, 40
Runs: Cole Peragine, IF, 42
Stolen Bases: Steven Goldstein, OF, 14

Wins: Brandon McNitt, RHP, 8
Innings: Brandon McNitt, RHP, 104.1
Strikeouts: Brandon McNitt, RHP, 63
Saves: Frankie Vanderka, RHP, 5


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