BATON ROUGE, La. -- Stony Brook (52-13) tossed its second-consecutive three-hitter on Sunday, as the Seawolves came back from a game down to advance past LSU to its first College World Series, 7-2, on Sunday night at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU (47-18), the Southeastern Conference Champion, won a 12-inning affair in game 1 that was hauled by rain after 11 innings on Friday afternoon and resumed on Saturday morning with a 5-4 Tigers victory.
However, back-to-back complete games by Stony Brook pitching ended the Tigers' season.
"We had every confidence, every anticipation of going to Omaha and playing for the National Championship and all of a sudden it is over," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "The suddenness is just awful. I am sure that in time we will look back at this season, dwell on the positives, an SEC Championship, an SEC West Championship, and we won 47 ball games. I think in a lot of ways we overachieved.
"It will be the coaches' job to figure out a way for us to get better and be able to take the next step. We will do that, but we will do that in time. Right now I just hurt for these kids, especially the seniors and the kids that will not be back. They have given so much to our program, the university, and we are going to miss them dearly. I wish we could have sent them out with one more trip to Omaha."
After Sunday's game was moved from noon to 7 p.m. in anticipation of rain, Stony Brook starter Frankie Vanderka (3-3) allowed only two runs on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
Though the Tigers hit the ball well throughout the game, just about all of the contact landed in back of the Seawolves' gloves.
Meanwhile, Stony Brook leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski was 4-for-6 with two runs and No. 3 hitter Michael Carmona was 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI.
Jankowski singled in front of LSU leftfielder Raph Rhymes to open the game and came around the score on a one-out single by Carmona to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers matched the run with a two-out solo home run to left field by Mason Katz that tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. However, that the only hit LSU could muster off Vanderka until the seventh inning.
In the top of the third, Stony Brook put together three runs on five hits to drive starter Ryan Eades (5-3) from the game. Maxx Tessenbaum's RBI double scored Jankowski, who led off the inning with a double of his own. RBI singles by Kevin Krause and Steven Goldstein to end Eades' day with the Tigers trailing 4-1.
In the fourth, Stony Brook added two runs when LSU reliever Joe Broussard hit a batter and walked one to setup Tissenbaum's two-RBI double to left-center field.
The Seawolves' 6-1 lead would last until the bottom of the seventh when Alex Edward doubled to right-center, moved to third on a single by Tyler Hanover and scored on a sacrifice fly to deep right-center by Austin Nola.
Stony Brook answered the run with an RBI single by Krause that scored Carmona for a 7-2 lead.
Attendance for the game was a school record for a home baseball game, 10,620.
GAME 3 SUPER REGIONAL NOTES - June 10, 2012
- Stony Brook qualified for the program's first College World Series and improved to 2-1 in NCAA Super Regional games, while LSU dropped to 12-10 in NCAA Super Regional games. Stony Brook will play UCLA, the number 2 national seed at a time TBA on Friday in the opening round of the CWS. They are the second current America East team to qualify for the CWS ... Maine qualified 7 times in the era prior to Super Regionals and before joining the America East in baseball.
- LSU is now 2-2 in game three of a NCAA Super Regional. The Tigers only other game three NCAA Super Regional loss came during the 2001 season, a 7-1 decision to Tulane at Zephyr Field in Metairie. Entering tonight's game, LSU had outscored its opponents by a 42-13 tally in game three of the NCAA Super Regional.
- For the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional, Stony Brook outscored LSU by a 14-8 margin. The Seawolves outhit the Tigers by a 35-15 margin.
- Stony Brook is the third No. 4 seed to qualify for the College World Series since the tournament went to its current 64-team format. They join Missouri (2006) and Fresno State (2008). The Seawolves have won 28 of its last 31 games dating back to April 18.
- LSU fell 32-5 in night games, while Stony Brook improved to 5-2 in night games during the 2012 season.
- Stony Brook had five players record multi-hit efforts in tonight's game highlighted by Travis Jankowski's 4-for-6 performance in the leadoff spot.
- Stony Brook's William Carmona put the Seawolves on the scoreboard with a RBI single in the first inning. For Carmona, it was his team-leading 12th RBI in the NCAA postseason play.
- LSU's Mason Katz connected for his team-leading 13th home run of the season during the first inning. It was Katz's second long ball of the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional.
- Stony Brook's Maxx Tissenbaum turned in a 2-for-4 effort with three RBIs. He opened a run of three straight two-out RBI hits in the third inning and added a two-run double during the fourth inning. That brought Tissenbaum's NCAA postseason RBI total to 10.
- LSU's Austin Nola notched a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. It was Nola's 43rd RBI of the season.
- Stony Brook's Frankie Vanderka made his sixth start of the season. He notched his third complete game and evened his season record at 3-3.
- Tonight's attendance was 11,976 paid and 10,620 actual bringing the three-game total to 34,649 paid and 29,288 actual. The 10,620 actual is an Alex Box Stadium record eclipsing the 10,367 fans during the Oregon State game eight days ago on June 2.
LSU vs. Stony Brook
Baton Rouge Super Regional
June 10, 2012 Game 3
LSU HEAD COACH PAUL MAINIERI
Opening statement ...
"This is obviously a very tough thing to deal with for us. We had every expectation that we were going to win this Super Regional and head off to Omaha this week, but things do not always work out the way they are planned. I am so proud of Mason (Katz) from bringing up congratulations to Stony Brook. First of all, I want to congratulate them as well. They came down here and they played great baseball and they deserved to win this Super Regional. We have no excuses. They out played us, really in every phase of the game. It is hard for me to find weaknesses in their team. Offensively, one through nine, that was the toughest line up that we have faced all year. I will put them in the category with Florida, maybe even better. Their defense was phenomenal. We hit an awful lot of balls hard tonight and it just seemed like they had a defender everywhere we hit it or they ran them down or they made good plays. Then their pitching was good enough. Mason (Katz) gave a good capsule of their kid tonight. Their kid yesterday was the same kind of pitcher. The guy we faced in game one was just as tough. I would not be one bit surprised if Stony Brook goes on to win the National Championship. I cannot imagine anyone in the country being better than that team. If they are I would like to see them. With that said, that does not take away the disappointment that we feel right now. It is hard to look at the positive from our season right now because the hurt is so great for these kids. They had every confidence, every anticipation of going to Omaha and playing for the National Championship and all of a sudden it is over. The suddenness is just awful. I am sure that in time we will look back at this season, dwell on the positives, a SEC Championship, a SEC West Championship, and I think we won 47 ball games. I think in a lot of ways we over achieved. What it is going to be now is it will be the coaches job to figure out a way for us to get better and be able to take the next step. We will do that, but we will do that in time. Right now I just hurt for these kids, especially the seniors and the kids that will not be back. They have given so much to our program, the university, and we are going to miss them dearly. I wish we could have sent them out with one more trip to Omaha."
LSU SHORTSTOP AUSTIN NOLA
On the season as a whole ...
"Thinking about the year you don't think about wins and losses, the tight ball games, or any of the hits you had or anything. You think about the tough times you went through. I think we faced some adversity, and we had some good times. We battled through; we gave it our best. We left everything out on the field, and we have no regrets about this year. I enjoyed every bit of it, and it's going to be hard to swallow for a few days. We just have to fight through it right now."
LSU OUTFIELDER RAPH RHYMES
On this season as a whole ...
"The year may not have ended the way we wanted, but I wouldn't take this season back for anything. The friendships that we made, the hard times we went through, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love this team. We're going to get through this. It's tough pill to swallow for us right now, but it was a great year. There are a lot of positives we can take from this year."
On their lack of hits in the game ...
"They played phenomenal defense. Their pitcher (Frankie Vanderka) was good tonight. I thought he kept us off balance. We would think we were getting a fastball count, and he'd throw a curveball. I think he just kept us off balance all night. We hit balls hard, but they just found some gloves tonight. You have to give credit to Stony Brook, to their pitching and to their defense.
LSU OUTFIELDER MASON KATZ
On his home run in the first inning ...
"It was early in the game; they had just put one (run) up. We had two outs, so I was going up there trying to have a big swing. I got a good pitch I could handle, and I put a good swing on it. It was one of the very few mistakes that kid (Frankie Vanderka) made tonight. I want to congratulate Stony Brook. They had a great season, and best of luck to them going forward.
On Stony Brook pitcher Frankie Vanderka ...
"Their pitcher tonight was phenomenal. He did what they guy did last night. He worked both sides of the plate, he threw three pitches for strikes and he was keeping us off balance. When he got ahead in counts, he didn't have to throw a fastball down the middle. He could flip his curveball in for a strike; he could flip his change-up in for a strike. In hitter's counts you look for a fastball, and sometimes you have to take that pitch. He gets back into a pitcher's count, and he was able to locate on both sides of the plate. He was able to give them another complete game tonight."
STONY BROOK HEAD COACH MATT SENK
"First, there are so many people I feel like I want to thank for this. I will just say I will try to get back to everybody who has already emailed and texted me. I couldn't be prouder of these three young men. It seems like a million years ago, but Frank (Vanderka) was the guy who was pitching when (LSU) scored the run at the conclusion of the first game. Here, he is pitching a complete game. There are so many examples of the resiliency, the belief in each other and mental toughness. Frank's performance is another example of it. I am proud of my team, proud of their accomplishment and proud of the University that I work for. It is a great place. Just as this team has maybe caught some eyes as far as the college baseball world and maybe the sports world the University is equally as good with awesome people. Our Athletic Director Jim Fiore, all the support staff, I can't say enough about Stony Brook and Stony Brook baseball.
On reaching the College World Series in Omaha...
"I am a little overwhelmed because I think I do know the magnitude of this. It is just an overwhelming feeling. To make it to Omaha, every college baseball teams dream, every college baseball coaches dream and it has come to fruition. To do it against LSU in Alex Box Stadium with Coach Mainieri what a class act. Just a legendary coach. I shook Coach Bertman's hand on the way in. To have that man congratulate me is just unbelievable. The guys just continue to play the game right. We talked about scoring first, and we did that. They tied it up, and the next thing you talk about it baseball 101 answer back. They did that. They just are playing at a very high level. Their baseball IQ is off the charts right now. When they did make a physical mistake, they rarely made a mental mistake over these last two weekends. Their focus, concentration and commitment to each other make up for it. They pick each other up. It is all cliché. They are doing all the things winning baseball things do."
On his tenure at Stony Brook...
"It truly is being in the right place at the right time. When they decided to go Division I, we just continued to work, learn and grow to make sure we were successful as we transitioned. The other thing that really factors in from 1991 to now is it is about the players. They are the ones that make me look like I know what I am doing. They are the ones that if I do know what I am doing have to buy in. It really comes down to the players. We have really taken off since we got a new administration led by (Athletic Director) Jim Fiore. This is a great thing for the baseball program. I believe incrementally all of our programs are doing exactly this. Watch out for Stony Brook."
STONY BROOK PITCHER FRANKIE VANDERKA
On his performance...
"Coach (Senk) came up to me in the fourth inning. He told me if I walked one more guy, he was going to take me out. I couldn't let that happen, so I went out there and started throwing strikes with the fastball. It worked out as planned. Defense played awesome behind me. Travis [Jankowski] had a great catch in the last inning, Cole (Peragine) jumping up in the eighth. I can't be any happier."
On the fans at Alex Box...
"These fans here, they are some of the best fans around. You'd think they'd be hasty now that we won, but every one of those guys told us to go and win it all, saying they'd be cheering us on. So we have to pay our respects to them. They made this time a great experience for us."
STONY BROOK CENTER FIELDER TRAVIS JANKOWSKI
On his performance...
"Well tonight is all about Frankie Vanderka. He goes out and allows three hits and two runs. He really put it all on the line for us. Tonight is about him. As for the weekend, we were underdogs coming into here. We had nothing to lose. Our motto is 'shock the world' and to win the last game of the season. As long as we do that, we'll be alright from here on out."
On Coach Paul Mainieri saying he wouldn't be surprised if Stony Brook won the national championship...
"That's a tremendous honor. But as for now, we just have to take it one game at a time. Coming out of this super regional, I think we sort of have a little bit of momentum. But like I said, it's all about taking it one game at a time. If we start thinking about championships or world series', that's when we start to get ahead of ourselves and blow games."
STONY BROOK SECOND BASEMAN MAXX TISSENBAUM
On his performance...
"Coach talked about it before the game. The pressure wasn't on us coming in here. We weren't putting it on ourselves. When you're playing loose, it's a whole lot easier to hit, to pitch, to play defense. So that's just the situation that you dream about being in. It's awesome to be a part of this."
On how they play for their coach...
"With any great team, I think there has to be a great coach. That's where it always starts. We're not here if it's not for him. He recruits us, and he's the one who chooses to put his faith in us as players and as students. To be able to put this all together and sort of crown our coach and the entire staff is phenomenal."