Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stony Brook's run ends with 12-2 loss to Florida State


OMAHA, Neb. -- As actor Tom Hanks famously said in the movie "A League of Their Own," there's no crying in baseball. But who could blame Stony Brook's Seawolves if they had to choke back a few tears when their College World Series dream died hard in a 12-2 loss to Florida State Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Stadium.
It was the second humiliating defeat for the Seawolves (52-15), who arrived as the nation's winningest team but got pounded by a combined score of 21-3 by UCLA and FSU. Stony Brook was everybody's lovable underdog in Omaha, but the Seawolves found the weight of expectations from their newfound fans too heavy a burden.
Still, their achievement in becoming only the second No. 4 regional seed ever to make it to the College World Series was a remarkable breakthrough for a school that has played Division I sports only since 1999, and no one ever can take away their dominant performance in the Baton Rouge Super Regional at LSU to get here.
But it was FSU starter Mike Compton (12-2) who was dominant in quieting Stony Brook's powerful lineup, allowing six hits, two walks and two runs in six innings. The Seminoles (49-16) advanced to meet the loser of Sunday night's game between UCLA and Arizona.
Walks and defensive miscues, which the Seawolves largely avoided on their way to Omaha, were their undoing against Florida State.
It began in the first inning when Brandon McNitt issued a one-out walk to Devon Travis, who went to third on a single by James Ramsey. With Ramsey going, McNitt struck out cleanup hitter Jayce Boyd, and catcher Pat Cantwell threw to second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum. Travis broke from third when the ball left Cantwell's hand, and with no chance to throw him out at the plate, Tissenbaum ran down Ramsey and tagged him for the third out.
McNitt settled down to retire the next five batters, but with two outs in the third, singles by Sherman Johnson and Travis and an RBI double by Ramsey made it 2-0.
Boyd then grounded to freshman shortstop Cole Peragine for what should have been an inning-ending out, but Peragine double-clutched and then skipped his throw past first baseman Kevin Courtney, allowing two runs to score.
McNitt compounded that mistake by walking Steve McGee before shortstop Justin Gonzalez launched a three-run homer into the leftfield bullpen for a 7-0 lead.
McNitt got the final out of the inning, but the damage was significant -- six runs after there were two outs, five of them unearned.
No. 9 hitter Sal Intagliata singled to lead off the bottom of the third for Stony Brook's first hit. Two outs later, Willie Carmona (two hits) belted a long drive into the gap in right-center. Intagliata was almost to the plate when the ball hopped into the stands for a ground-rule double. He had to return to third, and the threat ended when Tissenbaum lined out.
It got worse in the fourth. McNitt walked John Holland to start the inning, and two outs later, Travis banged a two-run homer into the leftfield bullpen for a 9-0 lead.
That ended the day for McNitt (8-4), who gave up nine runs, only four of which were earned, six hits and three walks in 32/3 innings before being relieved by James Campbell.
The Seawolves finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. Courtney led off with a double and went to third on a single by Travis Jankowski. Cantwell's grounder drove in the first run and Carmona's hard single to rightfield made it 9-2.
Whatever thoughts the Seawolves might have had were doused in the top of the sixth. Campbell allowed a one-out walk to Holland and then gave up three straight doubles to Seth Miller, Johnson and Travis to make it 12-2.
Travis had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored for Florida State, which outhit Stony Brook 11-7. Johnson had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored and Ramsey added two hits.