Stony Brook, N.Y. - The No. 1 Stony Brook baseball team scored four runs in the seventh inning to break open a close game and went on to defeat No. 3 Binghamton, 7-4, in the winner's bracket game of the 2012 America East Championship on Thursday at Joe Nathan Field. With the win, SBU advances to the America East title game on Friday.
The No. 30 Seawolves (45-11) play the winner of tomorrow morning's Binghamton/Maine game at 3 p.m., needing just one victory for its second America East championship in the three years.
Stony Brook's opponent would need to beat the Seawolves twice in order to win the double-elimination tournament. SBU has won 10 straight and 21 of its last 22.
Sophomore Brandon McNitt allowed two runs in 6.0+ innings to earn the victory. Junior Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, Pa.) led the Seawolves offense with two hits and an RBI.
Stony Brook led 3-2 heading to the seventh following a Binghamton run in the bottom of the sixth but freshman Cole Peragine (Belle Ewart, Ontario) walked to lead off the seventh and moved to second after sophomore Kevin Courtney (Lindenhurst, Pa.) reached on a hit by the pitch.
Freshman Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.) then pulled back a bunt attempt and slapped the ball down the third base line.
Playing several feet inside the bag, Binghamton third baseman Brian Ruby fielded the ball cleanly but then threw wide of third as Peragine scored to give SBU a two-run lead.
Jankowski followed with a line drive single to center to bring Courtney home and make it 5-2. Junior Pat Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.) then laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded cleanly by Bearcat reliever Jack Rogalla.
But Rogalla's throw trying to cut down Krause at third sailed down the left field line. Krause scored easily and Jankowski came all the way around first to put Stony Brook in front, 7-2.
Binghamton scored a run in the eighth and then another with two outs in the ninth on a Dave Ciocchi RBI single but junior James Campbell (Bridgeport, Conn.) retired Ruby on a grounder to third to end the game and pick up his second save.
SBU led 2-0 early on a two-out RBI single from Courtney in the second and a sacrifice fly from junior Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ontario) in the third.
Binghamton got a run back in the fourth before Stony Brook scored in the sixth to make it 3-1.