June 19, 2018
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Stony Brook beats UMaine in Sunday opener

By Pete Warner

ORONO, Maine — Stony Brook built a five-run lead in the first 3 1/2 innings Sunday afternoon, setting the tone for a 5-4 America East baseball victory over the University of Maine

Sophomore righthander Tyler Johnson (6-2) held the Black Bears in check by featuring a well-located changeup as Stony Brook fended off a comeback attempt by the hosts.

UMaine (24-18, 8-5 AE) will send sophomore Keith Bilodeau to the mound in Sunday’s second game.

Johnson was not overpowering, but spread out six hits while striking out five and walking two. He retired the last eight UMaine batters as the hosts worked to get the tying run.

Bears starter A.J. Bazdanes (4-4) recorded the first two outs of the game, but then allowed two runs. Stony Brook (19-20, 8-5 AE) then tallied three runs in the fourth on what proved to be a game-winning, three-run home run to left field by Pat Cantwell.

A wild pitch and Michael Stephan’s RBI double had produced the first-inning runs.

UMaine got on the board in the fourth. Tyler Patzalek worked a one-out walk, Joey Martin singled and Ian Leisenheimer drilled an opposite-field, two-run double to right-center.

Leisenheimer reached when right fielder Cantwell got to the ball but was upended by center fielder Tanner Nivins. Cantwell tracked the ball down and threw it to second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum, whose relay throw narrowly cut down Leisenheimer as he tried to take third base.

The Bears added two runs in the fifth after one was out. Tony Patane ripped a double down the line in left and Michael Fransoso walked, before Joe Mercurio grounded a run-scoring single through the middle.

The first run scored when catcher Justin Echevarria’s pickoff throw to third hit Fransoso and bounced away. However, UMaine was unable to plate the tying run as Johnson retired Taylor Lewis and Patzalek on his way to closing out the contest.

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