Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rangers' Nathan 'excited' for alma mater Stony Brook


Seventeen years after he left Stony Brook, Joe Nathan hasn’t forgotten his roots.
The Texas Rangers closer has kept a close eye on his alma mater during its record-setting, 50-win season and was thrilled when the Seawolves broke through over the weekend, becoming just the third No. 4 seed to win an NCAA Tournament regional championship. Stony Brook will take on LSU in the best-of-three Super Regionals this weekend in Baton Rouge, La.
“I’m excited for the program, for Coach Senk, [athletic director] Jim Fiore, all the guys on the team,” Nathan said. “It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
When Nathan was at Stony Brook, the program was just getting started under coach Matt Senk, winning at the Division III level. Nathan had no idea the future held such promise. He’s had a hand in it, however.
Senk credited part of the program’s success to the three-year-old Joe Nathan Field, which the major league pitcher helped get developed with an extremely generous donation. Fiore joked Senk tried to recruit players without showing them the old field, which didn’t have bleachers and was sloped so much you could hardly see the right fielder from home plate. The new 1,000-seat facility included a brand new 25-foot scoreboard, new bullpens and dugouts, in addition to a field turf surface.
“Every baseball player wants the opportunity to play at a great field and now we have that,” Senk said. “That’s been a huge part of our recent success.”
Nathan said Senk has a profound impact on his career, with establishing a work ethic in him that enabled him to succeed in the majors. One thing he never forgot was the coach keeping Nathan at shortstop — his position in college — his senior year when scouts and observers clamored to see him on the mound.
“He always stuck with his guns,” Nathan said.
Nathan will be busy this weekend, as Texas visits the San Francisco Giants in an interleague series. He will make sure to follow his old coach’s team, hoping its Cinderella story has another chapter left in it.
“This is a huge step for them,” Nathan said. “This is all going to help make a name for Stony Brook. Hopefully more guys keep making it to the big leagues and it can keep getting stronger and stronger.”

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stony Brook University opens $4.3 million Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center

Donation was the largest private gift made to a State University of New York (SUNY) athletics department

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Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook University officially opened its 8,000-square foot Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center Wednesday with a dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. Glenn Dubin '78 and his wife, Eva, who donated $4.3 million to build the world-class strength & conditioning center that will support and train Stony Brook student-athletes for success in both athletic competition and in life. The donation was the largest private gift ever made to a State University of New York (SUNY) athletics department.
In attendance for the dedication ceremony and serving as the official ribbon cutters were Glenn and Eva Dubin and their son, Jordan and daughter, Celina; Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. MD; and Stony Brook University Director of Athletics Jim Fiore.
"On behalf of my family, it's a great honor to be back at Stony Brook and to see these great student-athletes have a top-notch performance center," Dubin said.
"The Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center will be the hub for all of our teams' successes as they move forward," Fiore said.
Among the features of the new fully air conditioned facility are 37,280 lbs. of cutting-edge strength & conditioning equipment; a state-of-the-art audio visual system for filming and training; a designated plyometric area for speed and sprint work; a nutritional oasis; a furnished office area; a large storage room; and an outdoor patio area. The facility was designed by Populous, and Fortunato Sons Contracting, Inc., served as the general contractor.
Dubin graduated from Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1978 and was a member of the football and men's lacrosse programs. He also was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in May 2012 at Stony Brook's commencement ceremony, where he served as keynote speaker. Dubin is the co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Highbridge Capital Management, a global alternative asset management company headquartered in Manhattan with offices in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Dubin is a founding board member and former Board Chair of the Robin Hood Foundation, which fights poverty in New York City by applying investment principles to charitable giving. Dubin is also a Trustee of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, where he and his wife, Eva, have funded the Dubin Breast Center to provide comprehensive integrated breast care in a patient-centered environment. Dubin previously donated $1 million to Stony Brook in 2005 to create the Glenn Dubin Endowed Scholarship Fund, offering scholarships to students from Washington Heights, particularly to students from P.S. 132, where he attended elementary school.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stony Brook's Jankowski, four others taken in MLB draft

By STEVEN MARCUS steven.marcus@newsday.comThe celebrations just keep coming for Stony Brook University's baseball team. Moments after the Seawolves beat Central Florida late Monday in the Coral Gables Regional, word came that centerfielder Travis Jankowski was the 44th overall choice of the Padres in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
On Tuesday, catcher Pat Cantwell of West Islip was taken in the third round by the Texas Rangers, for whom former SBU pitcher Joe Nathan is the closer.
"It was unbelievable," second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum said. "We were waiting for coach [Matt Senk] to finish up his press conference, standing outside the bus, when [Jankowski] got that phone call, everybody went crazy. It was almost as big a celebration as what happened on the field.''
Tissenbaum was picked by the Padres in the 11th round as the Seawolves were flying to Baton Rouge Tuesday to face LSU in the Super Regionals. Shortly thereafter, third baseman Willie Carmona was selected by the Phillies in the 11th round and pitcher James Campbell went to the Dodgers in the 12th.
Jankowski, a junior who is hitting .417, was elated. "That was by far the greatest experience I've ever had," he said. "To win a regional as the fourth seed and find out after the game that you are getting drafted 44th overall, it was incredible. Words don't describe how exciting and perfect that entire day was.''
Jankowski, 6-3 and 190, was an outstanding high school football player in Lancaster, Pa. He was deemed too slight of build for major-college football and Stony Brook was the only Division I school to offer him a baseball scholarship. "I probably had very little to no thought that one day this would all happen," he said. "I took it one step at a time and it kind of fell into place."
Jankowski could earn a signing bonus close to $1 million.
"They haven't given me a number yet, I don't know too much about anything," he said. "San Diego's almost like a resort. I couldn't be happier about the location.''
As for Cantwell, Senk termed the 6-1, 205-pounder "easily one of the best baseball players I've ever coached. His makeup is off the charts, he has skills everywhere." Cantwell is hitting .312.
Stony Brook will meet LSU and highly acclaimed righthanded pitcher Kevin Gausman, who was selected fourth overall by the Orioles. The best-of-three series starts Friday and the winner advances to the College World Series.

Stony Brook wins Coral Gables Regional, will face LSU

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The greatest baseball season in Stony Brook history is still alive. Fourth-seeded SBU (50-12) completed its shocking run through the Coral Gables Regional Monday night, beating second-seeded Central Florida, 10-6.
SBU, which went 4-1 in the regional, advanced to the best-of-three Baton Rouge Super Regional against No. 3 LSU (46-16) next weekend.
SBU joined Missouri (2006) and Fresno State (2008) as the only No. 4 seeds to win a regional since the field was expanded to 64 in 2001.
The Seawolves fell into the losers' bracket Saturday with a 9-8 loss to Central Florida but then won their final three games, beating Central Florida twice.
SBU third baseman Willie Carmona went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double and four RBIs in the final game. Carmona was 11-for-21 with two homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs in five regional games. Travis Jankowski was 11-for-23.
The SBU offense amassed 50 runs and 59 hits in five regional games. "One through six, we have some absolute studs in our lineup," said Kevin Courtney, who bats ninth and came up with several key hits in the regional. "It feels great to be down there and turn the lineup over to Travis at the top of the order."
Tyler Johnson, who was pitching on two days' rest after beating Miami on Friday, threw 119 pitches and allowed four runs in 61/3 innings. Johnson gave up two home runs and three RBIs to Central Florida's D.J. Hicks but otherwise was stellar.
Baseball America's Aaron Fitt, who was perhaps the only one in the media to predict that Stony Brook would win this regional, said the Seawolves have been "on the rise" for a while.
"Coach Matt Senk and his staff do a great job of identifying and developing talent," Fitt said in a phone interview Monday. "This is an experienced and legitimately talented team with at least five or six guys who had strong summers in the Cape Cod League against top competition. That gave me reason to believe they could hang in this regional."
They did. Now they'll face LSU, which has never lost a Super Regional series at home in five tries and has led the nation in attendance 17 years in a row, routinely averaging more than 10,500 fans.
The other No. 4 seeds around the country this year went 8-30. Some of them got embarrassed, including Dayton, which lost 28-12 to TCU, and Bethune-Cookman, which was no-hit by Florida. But the Seawolves, who have won 26 of their past 28, proved they belong.
On Sunday, Courtney indicated SBU is not lacking for confidence. "Right now, we're on a pretty good roll," he said. "We're feeling pretty good about ourselves."

Jankowski picked 44th overall by San Diego in 2012 MLB Draft

Stony Brook baseball junior center fielder Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, Pa.) has been selected by the San Diego Padres 44th overall in the supplemental first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Jankowski becomes Stony Brook's first-ever first-round selection.

Jankowski is one of the nation's best hitters in 2012. Through Sunday, Jankowski was hitting .420 with five home runs, 45 RBI, 10 triples, 16 doubles, 35 stolen bases and 73 runs scored.

Jankowski has ranked in the top 10 in the nation in batting average, runs scored, triples and stolen bases all season and was named a second-team Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He is currently on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top player.

During America East play, Jankowski batted .457 with a conference-leading 29 runs scored and 43 hits in 23 games played. He also led the league in triples (6) and stolen bases (13) en route to being named America East Player of the Year and first-team All-America East.

Jankowski is only the second player from an America East institution to be drafted in the first round, joining Northeastern's Carlos Pena, who was selected 10th overall in 1998.

Jankowski's draft stock soared after an incredible 2011 season both at Stony Brook and in the Cape Cod Summer League. For the Seawolves, he hit .355 with 30 stolen bases to earn first-team All-America East honors. Then for the Bourne Braves using a wood bat, Jankowski hit .329 with a league-leading 57 hits, 31 runs and seven triples on his way to earning Cape Cod League MVP honors.

Jankowski has been one of the leaders of a Stony Brook team that is 50-12, won the America East Championship and just won the Coral Gables Regional of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time ever.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Stony Brook wins twice, needs one more victory for title

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Missouri State coach Keith Guttin told Stony Brook counterpart Matt Senk before the weekend began: "You are the best four seed in the country."
And the Seawolves have done their best to prove Guttin right.
Stony Brook won two games Sunday, coming back from a five-run deficit to defeat Missouri State, 10-7, in the afternoon before beating Central Florida, 12-5, in the night game. That set up one final game between SBU (49-12) and Central Florida (45-16) Monday night at 7 to determine the Coral Gables Regional title.
SBU scored seven runs in the seventh to beat Missouri State, with Kevin Courtney's three-run double snapping a 7-7 tie. He had two doubles in the seventh, both on 0-and-2 pitches. It was the second time in two games that SBU erased a five-run deficit.
Travis Jankowski had three of Stony Brook's 15 hits against UCF. He also had three of SBU's 10 hits against Missouri State.
Jankowski had two hits and five RBIs Saturday night as Stony Brook lost to UCF, 9-8, to fall into the losers' bracket.
Reliever Frankie Vanderka gave up two runs in 62/3 innings against Missouri State. "That was an unbelievable performance,'' Senk said. "It was a tremendous job by our team, too. We just kept fighting back."
The loss eliminated the third-seeded Bears (40-22), leaving one of their players, Brock Chaffin, in tears at an emotional postgame news conference.
The Seawolves were 1-6 in three previous regional appearances, but with one more win, they'll join Missouri (2006) and Fresno State (2008) as the only No. 4 seeds to win an NCAA baseball regional since the field was expanded to 64 in 2001. SBU is the first America East team to reach a regional final.
Against Missouri State, Courtney started the big seventh with a double to right and Jankowski singled to put runners at the corners. Pat Cantwell and Willie Carmona followed with RBI singles, Maxx Tissenbaum's bunt drove in another run and Steven Goldstein tied the score at 7-7 with a bases-loaded walk.
That set up Courtney, a lefty hitter who bats last in the order and has the lowest batting average (.291) among the starters. He went the other way and sent the ball flying over the head of leftfielder Keenen Maddox.
Missouri State threatened in the ninth. Derek Mattea singled, and after James Campbell relieved Vanderka, Kevin Medrano singled and Brent Seifert walked with one out to load the bases. But Campbell struck out Maddox and Luke Voit on outside fastballs, each at 93 mph.

Baseball storms past Missouri State to advance to Regional Final

Seawolves become first America East team to advance to Regional Final.
Coral Gables, Fla. - Sophomore Kevin Courtney's two-out three-run double in the seventh broke a 7-7 tie and capped a seven-run inning as No. 4 Stony Brook baseball team staved off elimination with a 10-7 win over No. 2 Missouri State on Sunday at the Coral Gables Regional. SBU advances to take on UCF at 7 p.m. in the Regional Final. The Seawolves need two wins over UCF to win the Regional. A Stony Brook win tonight against UCG would force a winner take all game on Monday at 7 p.m. Sophomore Frankie Vanderka (Levittown, N.Y.) worked 6.2 innings of relief to earn the victory. Vanderka came on with one out in the second and allowed a two-run home run but then did not allow a run over his last 5.0 innings of work before leaving following a lead off single in the ninth. Junior Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, Pa.) had three hits and Courtney had two hits and three RBI. Stony Brook becomes the first America East team to advance to a Regional Final since the NCAA went to the Regional format in 1999 and its 48 wins ties an America East record. SBU trailed 7-3 entering the seventh but the Seawolves then struck for seven runs, sending 12 men to the plate. Freshman Steven Goldstein (East Meadow, N.Y.) drew a two-out bases loaded walk to tie the game 7-7 and Courtney followed with his second double of the inning to clear the bases and put Stony Brook up 10-7. Vanderka pitched a scoreless eighth before junior James Campbell came on after Vanderaka gave up a single to lead off the ninth. Campbell gave up a single to the first batter he faced and then walked Brent Seifert after retiring Spiker Helms. But Campbell struck out Keenen Maddox and Luke Voit to end the game. It was the third straight appearance for Campbell, who pitched 3.0 innings on Saturday. Missouri St scored seven runs over the first two innings, jumping to a 7-2 lead. Stony Brook got a run back in the fourth before erupting for the seven runs in the eighth.

Stony Brook Postgame Press Conference - 6/3/12

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jankowski drives in 5 but Stony Brook rally falls short

By WALTER VILLA. Special to Newsday

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Rich resumes don't intimidate Stony Brook, and daunting deficits don't bother the Seawolves, either.
Now we'll find out how the feisty fourth-seeded Seawolves respond to playing from the losers' bracket.
Stony Brook lost to No. 2 Central Florida, 9-8, Saturday night in the Coral Gables Regional. Stony Brook will play Missouri State (40-21) in an elimination game Sunday at 2 p.m. The winner will play UCF (45-15) at 7 p.m.
To win its first regional ever, Stony Brook will have to win both games Sunday and one Monday night.
Travis Jankowski had two hits, including a three-run homer, and five RBIs to lead Stony Brook (47-12). The Seawolves trailed 5-0 and 9-5 and came back each time and nearly took the lead in the eighth on Willie Carmona's long fly ball to rightfield.
But Carmona didn't get all of it, Stony Brook coach Matt Senk said.
"If he had," Senk said, "the ball would have landed in the parking garage."
Instead, it landed in the glove of rightfielder Alex Friedrich, who made the grab as he crashed into the wall.
In the ninth, with UCF closer Joe Rogers in the game, Tanner Nivins reached on a strikeout / passed ball and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Cole Peragine.
Pinch hitter Sal Intagliata struck out, and Kevin Krause grounded to short on a 3-and-2 count to end the game.
"Wow, what an incredibly intense, hard-fought game," said Senk, whose team beat four-time College World Series champ Miami on Friday. "That was a straight-up fistfight."
Senk said Evan Stecko-Haley will start Sunday's early game.
Saturday night's starter, Brandon McNitt, did not have his best stuff. He entered the weekend with a 2.26 ERA and had allowed only one home run all season.
In this game, though, he allowed a season-high eight runs, including a pair of three-run homers to cap his night after six innings. It was Jeramy Matos' homer to left in the sixth that snapped a 5-5 tie.
The game got off to a rough start for Stony Brook when second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum failed to convert what appeared to be a routine double play. He threw in the dirt to first base and was charged with an error as UCF scored two runs on the play.
UCF padded its lead when Darnell Sweeney hit an 0-and-2 pitch for a three-run homer to right to make it 5-0 in the top of the second.
Stony Brook started its rally in the bottom of the inning as Jankowski hit the first pitch he saw from Ray Hanson for a three-run homer to right. The rally started with two outs, when Krause doubled and Pat Cantwell walked.
The Seawolves tied it in the fourth when Kevin Courtney walked, Cantwell singled and Carmona drove them both home with a double to left-center.
After Matos' homer, UCF added a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Chris Taladay.
Stony Brook rallied again, scoring three runs in the eighth on a two-run double by Jankowski and a run-scoring single by Cantwell.
"I couldn't be prouder of our guys," Senk said. "If there is a team that can come out of the losers' bracket, it could be us, based on the effort of this team."

Stony Brook postgame press conference

Stony Brook stuns host Miami, 10-2, in regional opener

By WALTER VILLA. Special to Newsday            
Stony Brook's William Carmona (5) is congratulated after
Photo credit: AP | Stony Brook's William Carmona (5) is congratulated after hitting a three-run home run during the eighth inning. (June 1, 2012)
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Stony Brook's task is monumental. All the Seawolves have to do this weekend is win a regional at Miami, knowing that the host Hurricanes have won 18 straight postseason tournaments on their home field.
Miami also had not lost a regional opener at home since it was beaten by The Citadel in 1978. The Hurricanes followed that with 21 straight opening wins at home regionals.
But on Friday night, the fourth-seeded Seawolves (47-11) broke the latter streak -- emphatically.
The Seawolves routed Miami, 10-2, to advance to Saturday's winner's-bracket game against Central Florida (44-15) at 7 p.m. Central Florida beat Missouri State, 2-1, earlier Friday.
Stony Brook was led by Maxx Tissenbaum, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Willie Carmona, who blasted a three-run homer to right in the eighth. Tissenbaum also had a run-saving gem at second base, diving to his left to snare a grounder. Carmona, Travis Jankowski and Pat Cantwell added two hits each for the Seawolves, who had 11.
Carmona was asked how the nation might respond to Stony Brook's win. "I think they are going to pick up the paper and say, 'Wow, I guess Stony Brook is for real,' '' he said.
Starter Tyler Johnson (10-1) got the win, allowing two runs in 61/3 innings. His only blemish came on a two-run homer to left by Brad Fieger that tied the score at 2-2 in the fourth.
The question now is whether the Seawolves, who have won 12 games in a row and 23 of 24, can end Miami's bigger-picture streak and win the regional.
Miami looked like the lower seed, especially early, when the Hurricanes made two errors on consecutive bunt plays to allow Stony Brook to score its first two runs. SBU took the lead for good in the fifth on Tissenbaum's two-out, two-run single.
The Seawolves added two in the seventh on Tissenbaum's single -- his third RBI of the night -- and a throwing error. It was the Hurricanes' third error of the night, all of which resulted in runs. "This is the worst big game Miami has played in my entire career here," said coach Jim Morris, in his 19th season.
Miami (36-22), which will play No. 3 Missouri State (39-21) at 2 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game, also was victimized by poor baserunning. Three runners were caught stealing, picked off or doubled off.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stony Brook Baseball knocks off Miami (FL) in NCAA opener

Coral Gables, Mia. (June 1, 2012) – Junior Maxx Tissenbaum had three hits and three RBI as the fourth-seeded Stony Brook baseball team beat top-seed Miami (FL), 10-2, in the opening game of the Coral Gables Regional on Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park. Stony Brook advances to take on Central Florida in a winner’s bracket game on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Senior Tyler Johnson (Chatsworth, Calif.) picked up the win, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings. It is the second Division I NCAA tournament victory for No. 25 Stony Brook, with the first coming over N.C. State at the 2010 Myrtle Beach Regional.

Senior Pat Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.) and juniors Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, Pa.) and William Carmona (Hempstead, N.Y.) added two hits apiece for the Seawolves, who improved to 47-11 with the victory.

Stony Brook has won 12 straight and 23 of its last 24.

The Seawolves jumped on top with two runs in the second as Tissenbaum lead off with a bloop double to left and then scored when Miami starter Eric Erickson fielding a bunt from junior Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario) and threw it away.

Freshman Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.) followed with another sacrifice bunt and Erickson against threw it away, allowing Nivins to cross the plate with Stony Brook’s second run.

Miami put runners on first and second with no out in the bottom of the second but Johnson then snagged a Peter O’Brien liner up the middle and doubled Brad Fieger off first. He then picked Rony Rodriguez off to first get out of the jam.

The Hurricans evened the score at two in the fourth on two-run home run from Fieger. Miami nearly scored more but Johnson got out of a second and third one out jam to keep it tied.

Stony Brook answered right back in the fifth, taking a 4-2 lead on a two-out two-run single from Tissenbaum that dropped just over the head of second baseman Stephen Perez into right field.

Miami threatened in the bottom of the fifth, putting a runner on third with one out. But Johnson struck out Dale Carey looking and Tissenbaum then made a diving play in the hole on a Chantz Mack grounder to end the inning.

Stony Brook added two insurance runs in the seventh including one on a run-scoring single through the left side from Tissenbaum.

Carmona then put the game away in the eighth with a long three-run home run to right.

Junior James Campbell (Bridgeport, Conn.) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief and junior Jasvir Rakkar pitched the ninth to seal the victory.


Congrats to Dallis Joyner on signing his first pro contract! Proud day! #Sbuhaspros