Stony Brook avoids elimination with slugfest victory over Sacred Heart

Stony Brook’s elimination game Saturday against Sacred Heart turned into a four-hour, weather-delayed slugfest with 32 combined hits, 11 walks and a pair of errors.

But at this stage — in the losers’ bracket of the NCAA Fort Worth Regional — coach Matt Senk knows that’s sometimes just the cost of doing business.

Senk and his Seawolves survived for an 11-6 win over Sacred Heart at TCU’s Lupton Stadium.

Stony Brook, which lost 3-0 to North Carolina State in Friday’s tournament opener, raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Three of those runs came before a 40-minute delay that was caused by about 10 minutes of rain.

As the skies opened with two outs in the bottom of the first, the teams scrambled off the field. And just as the tarp was pulled over Williams-Reilly Field, the weather cleared.

Stony Brook (35-15-1) added two more runs in the first, on a double from Malcolm Nachmanoff, and two more in the second on a homer from Casey Baker.

Sacred Heart (23-33-1), meanwhile, kept pestering Stony Brook starter Tyler Honahan, who gave up three runs and 11 hits in four innings. Reliever Nicholas Dieva allowed three more runs in 3 1/3 innings.

But after Sacred Heart cut the lead to 11-6 in the eighth, Nick Brass and Cole Creighton shut the door for Stony Brook.

Sacred Heart tallied 15 hits overall, the most given up by the Seawolves all season. But Stony Brook’s makeshift pitching strategy — which was helped by Sacred Heart leaving 15 runners on base — gave the team a better chance for Sunday, when it’ll play either N.C. State or TCU at 2:30 p.m.

Senk said a right-hander will likely start, leaving Tim Knesnik and Ryley MacEachern as options.

“I think that although we could’ve been set up a little bit better for the rest of the tournament, we were still able to accomplish what we wanted, as far as having our pitching lined up,” Senk said. “If that’s what it took to keep our pitching in a good position moving forward, then that’s the trade-off.”

Baker finished 2 for 4 with four RBIs, Toby Handley and Jack Parenty each collected three hits, and Dieva (3-1) earned the victory for Stony Brook.

Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST

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