Baseball: Stony Brook shuts out FAU 5-0

SPORTS

Stony Brook University (1-0) played its season opener on Friday, Feb. 25 in Boca Raton and ended the night shutting out FAU (4-2).

The Owls struggled to accomplish anything positive offensively against SBU’s right-handed pitcher, Nick Tropeano, who pitched six innings and struck out eight batters.

“That guy was good,” said head coach John McCormack, about Tropeano. “Whatever the reports we got on him, they undersold him. I was impressed.”

FAU first baseman Dan Scheffler returned to the field for the first time this season after his five-game suspension for violating FAU athletic department policy. However, Scheffler had an uneventful game going 0 for 4.

On the mound for the Owls was starting pitcher R.J. Alvarez. Despite the score, Alvarez pitched a respectable four and two-thirds innings while allowing three runs with three walks and six strikeouts.

The Seawolves’ first two runs came in the top of the second inning, as left fielder Tanner Nivins and designated hitter Joshua Mason both drove in runs.

In the top of the fifth, SBU scored their third run as third baseman Stephen Marino scored an RBI which brought catcher Pat Cantwell, who was hit by a pitch in his at bat, across home plate.

With FAU down 3-0 going into the top of the seventh, the Owls left-handed pitcher Ahmed Garcia appeared to be getting into a rhythm until Marino belted a two-run homer to left field, giving SBU a 5-0 lead.

The Owls bullpen continued to struggle as they brought in right-handed pitcher Mike Ruccio to relieve Garcia at the top of the ninth. Ruccio, who has changed his pitching style from over-head to sidearm, was taken out of the game on his very first pitch after he hit a batter. Left-handed pitcher Jason Boyer came in to relieve Ruccio and was able to get FAU out of the inning, but the Owls were already in too deep of a hole.

FAU managed to get runners on first and second base in the bottom of the ninth, but nothing came of it. A bunt by catcher Mike Albaladejo was the final out, sealing the 5-0 victory for the Seawolves.

“I told the guys that this weekend they would be facing some of the best arms that they would all season,” said McCormack. “We just have to break the code.”

FAU will play game two of the three game series against Stony Book on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 4:00 p.m. in Boca Raton.