OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A lopsided loss to Florida State made for a cold ending to the Stony Brook baseball team’s feel-good story.
It surely will take time for coach Matt Senk and his players to shake off the disappointment of a 12-2 defeat on Sunday, especially on the heels of another blowout loss that left them outscored 21-3 in their two games at the College World Series.
Eventually, they might remember the season more for their incredible journey rather than the results of their trip in Omaha.
“I know that it was like nothing else that’s ever happened, I think, for a college team certainly from Long Island,” Senk said. “Hopefully this team has done some things that will have a ripple effect that goes on for a long, long time for our athletic department, our university, the Long Island community.”
Stony Brook had overcome big deficits and staved off elimination five times in the NCAA tournament. But the Seawolves couldn’t recover from shortstop Cole Peragine’s two-run throwing error that opened the door for Florida State’s six-run third inning.
Justin Gonzalez and Devon Travis homered to help the Seminoles build an early 9-0 lead against the CWS first-timers.
“It’s a hard loss,” third baseman William Carmona said, “but I look back on the season and I think we did what no one thought we could ever do, what everyone thought was basically impossible. We made it happen somehow, and I’ll never forget that.”
FSU (49-16) rebounded from a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Arizona on Friday and scored at least 12 runs for the third time in four games.
Stony Brook (52-15), little known outside the Northeast, stunned the college baseball world by upsetting six-time national champion LSU in a three-game super regional to reach the CWS.
A Division I baseball program for only 12 years, the Seawolves came to Omaha much celebrated for their “Shock The World” mantra.
They were the first team from their part of the country to play at the CWS since Maine in 1986. They quickly became the toast of the town. Three Omaha bikers impressed with Stony Brook’s accomplishment in Baton Rouge, La., greeted the Seawolves at the airport and gave them an escort to the team hotel.
Locals stopped players on the street for autographs and to wish them luck. Omahans showed up in red and black — Stony Brook’s team colors — to cheer them on at TD Ameritrade Park.
“If I was a resident of Omaha, that’s who I would have pulled for today,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “What they did was unbelievable. To get here was an unbelievable accomplishment.”
Senk said he and his players knew they had a home-field advantage in both games.
“We heard how they root for the underdog and they take a team on, and it was very clear from the moment we got here that they were on our side,” Senk said. “I want to thank all those people on behalf of my team and our university.”
FSU starter Mike Compton (12-2) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Brandon McNitt (8-4) went 3 2-3 innings and gave up nine runs, four earned.
Florida State led 2-0 in the third when everything started to unravel for the Seawolves. Jayce Boyd’s grounder to shortstop should have been the third out, but Peragine was short with his throw to first, and the ball got away from Kevin Courtney.
That allowed two runs to score, and Gonzalez followed with a three-run homer into the left-field bullpen that made it 7-0. Five of the six runs Florida State scored in the third were unearned.
The six runs were the most by a team in an inning in 19 CWS games played at TD Ameritrade Park.
The lead grew to 9-0 the next inning after Travis, the last batter McNitt faced, hit a drive to nearly the same spot as Gonzalez.
Six of the Seminoles’ 11 hits went for extra bases, and Florida State didn’t leave any runners on base until the eighth inning.
Stony Brook entered the CWS with a .335 batting average that ranked second nationally, but the Seawolves hit a combined .194 (12 of 62) in their two games.
They were eighth in scoring and came nowhere close to their 7.2 runs a game largely because their best hitters struggled.
Travis Jankowski, a first-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres, was 1 for 8. William Carmona, who was 2 for 8, had a single and double against the Seminoles, but both came after the Seawolves trailed by at least seven runs.
“I’m sure tonight as time wears on we’ll reminisce on what we’ve done,” Jankowski said, “and I’m sure we’ll forget about these losses and raise our heads.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.