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Hall of Fame Class of 2020

April 22, 2021

This past weekend we celebrated a virtual Homecoming which included a video induction ceremony of our two newest Stony Brook Hall of Famers. Here is the text from that ceremony from Director of Athletics, Dan Hickey ’04.

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Hello everyone and welcome to the 25th induction ceremonies of the Stony Brook School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Normally we would be together in Carson Auditorium celebrating the accomplishments of our distinguished classmates, but this is just one more thing that COVID-19 has changed for the time being. But if we’re anything at Stony Brook, we are resilient, and we wanted to find a way to honor our worthy recipients despite not being able to gather together.

Today I have the honor of welcoming two new members into an exclusive club that represents the very best student-athletes from the 99-year history of Blue and White Athletics. Our inductees were chosen by a panel of Stony Brook Hall of Famers who voted on a list of 11 nominees spanning six decades. Juanita Gonzalez and Jin Han Justin Song, both from the Class of 2005, received the highest number of votes.

I was very pleased with both selections because my time at the Brook overlapped with Juanita’s and Justin’s. I graduated just a year ahead of them and had a front row seat to many sensational performances during their time as Bears.

Our first inductee is Juanita Gonzalez, who in her six years with the softball program became Long Island’s undisputed strikeout queen. As a 7th grader she struck out 34 batters, then nearly tripled that mark with 96 the following spring. As a freshman she blew through the 100-strikeout barrier with 193 and tossed her first of four no-hitters, then struck out 232 batters as a sophomore while notching another no-no. In her junior season she notched an astonishing 306 strikeouts, including two 20-strikeout performances, out of a possible 21 outs, and a third no-hitter in leading the softball program to its first League Championship. She closed her career in 2005 with 292 more K’s to push her career strikeout total to a Long Island record, 1,153. She still owns school records for strikeouts in a game, a season, and a career. But while Juanita was nothing short of dominant on the diamond, she was far from a one-dimensional athlete.

On the tennis court she was a 3-time All-County performer in helping the team to a 2002 League Championship. She was also a valued contributor to the varsity basketball team.

After Stony Brook, she continued her softball career at Division-I Fordham University where in her collegiate debut vs. Jacksonville she recorded 5 shutout innings and allowed just 1 hit to lead the Rams to victory.

Juanita not only performed at an incredibly high level, but always did so as a true sportsman and a wonderful representation of a true student-athlete. I remember her with a smile always on her face, joyfully embracing the opportunity to compete. It is my honor to induct Juanita Gonzalez into our Hall of Fame.

Our next inductee is Jin Han Justin Song, who left scorch marks on the Marvin Goldberg Track on a routine basis.

As a junior Justin was the lead leg for the 4×400-meter relay team that earned Stony Brook’s 8th Penn Relays Championship plaque. Additionally he won the 100-meter dash County Championship and earned All-State status at the New York State Championships. As a senior he won Division Championships in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in 11.2 seconds and 22.99 seconds, respectively, and anchored the 4×100-meter relay team to the Division title. At that year’s New York State Championships he again earned All-State recognition by finishing 5th in the 100 and 6th in the 200.

After finishing his career as one of the most decorated sprinters in Blue & White history, Justin attended Division-I Davidson College where he continued to reach new plateaus of speed. He capped a sensational 4-year run with the Wildcats with a place on nearly all of Davidson’s sprinting leaderboards. He still has the two fastest 55-meter dashes in school history at 7.05 & 7.10 seconds while also owning Davidson’s 2nd fastest indoor 400, 3rd fastest outdoor 400, 3rd fastest indoor 200, and 8th fastest outdoor 100. He is also a member of the fastest 4×4 relay and 2nd fastest 4×1 relay in school history. He closed his Wildcat career with a 5th place finish in the Southern Conference Championships in a blazing time of 49.19.

I had the privilege of running track with Justin for several years under the direction of Robin Lingle. My favorite memory of Justin, alongside our Penn Relays victory, was our dual meet against Port Jeff that came down to the final event: the 4×100-meter relay. Both teams were tied, the winner of the relay would take the win. Justin, our anchor, received the baton a few steps behind Port Jeff’s top sprinter, but Justin turned on the afterburners and charged past him on the straightaway to secure the win against our crosstown rivals. Justin was a great teammate, a great competitor, and one of the finest sprinters we’ve had in a long line of talented speedsters. It is my honor to induct my teammate into the Hall of Fame.

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Girls’ Lax Takes Down Defending Champs

April 20, 2021

Yesterday afternoon, the girls’ lacrosse team opened the season with a dominant, 16-3 victory over Long Island Lutheran, the 3-time defending PSAA Champions.

The Bears opened the scoring at the 18:11 mark when Morgan Ruggieri scored from a free position. LuHi responded with a pair of goals in the span of a minute to take a 2-1 edge with 12:29 remaining in the first half. From there, the Blue & White defense would allow Lutheran just one goal over the remainder of the game as Georgia Apazidis, Caroline Cho, Christy Eugene, Tiffany Akinyoade, and Emily Berger stood tall. Meanwhile, Ruggieri’s mercurial speed and Ava McCormick’s dominance on draws fueled a dynamic offense. The Bears notched the final four goals of the half thanks to a pair of scores from McCormick and Michelle Xuan to take a 5-2 lead into the break.

Ruggieri and McCormick kept the pressure on by scoring the first two goals of the second half to build a commanding 7-2 advantage. Lutheran pulled within 7-3 with 19:28 remaining, but that would prove to be their last gasp as the Brook reeled off the final 9 goals of the game, highlighted by a run of 3 Ruggieri scores in 78 seconds, including one in which she managed to uncork a shot into the upper nylon while falling down.

The Manhattan College-bound Ruggieri scored a game-high 8 goals while McCormick (3), Xuan (3), Nikki Carlo (1), and Yasmin Tinaz (1) provided a balanced scoring attack. Mia Trama, Tinaz, and McCormick added assists.

The Bears are back in action on Saturday in a match-up vs. Poly Prep.

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Leung PRs for Carnegie Mellon

April 19, 2021
Leung in action earlier this spring (PC: Carnegie Mellon)

On Friday, despite wet and gusty conditions in Slippery Rock, PA, Francine Leung ’19 notched a personal record 5.14m (16′ 10.5″) in the long jump for Carnegie Mellon University at Slippery Rock University’s Bill Lennox Invite.

The sophomore bested her 5.05m (16′ 7″) mark, turned in at the Battle for the Obelisk in January 2020, on her second of six attempts on the day, placing her 3rd overall in a field of twelve. The Tartans are an NCAA Division III school and Leung was only bested in the event by a pair of Division II jumpers from Slippery Rock and Wheeling. The Port Jeff native also took 8th in the triple jump in the field of twelve with a hop, skip, and jump of 9.53m (31′ 3.25″). The former Bear had to overcome challenging weather to reach her personal best and was forced to mark her starting place with a tent stake as her tape kept blowing away in the wind.

Leung is back in action on Thursday, once again at Slippery Rock University.

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Volleyball Keeps PSAA Crown in Sweep

April 17, 2021
The Champions (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

“It’s hard to beat a good team three times” is a sports cliche that was made very real for the Bears in 2017 and 2018 when they lost the championship game to a team they had swept twice in the regular season. Yesterday, they found themselves in an eerily similar situation, facing Long Island Lutheran in the final after sweeping them in both regular season match-ups, the exact situation they faced in a 2018 title game loss. But the Bears did not let the pressure of the recent past shift their focus as they won the first back-to-back tournament titles in program history.

When a team is as dominant as our volleyball team has been, it can be easy to take for granted the accomplishments that pour in. Since their thrilling, unexpected run to the 2016 County Championship, there simply are not enough superlatives to describe just how good our volleyball team has been:

  • 4 consecutive regular season titles
  • 4 consecutive undefeated seasons
  • 32 consecutive league victories
  • 28 consecutive home victories
  • 11 consecutive sweeps

The girls make winning look easy, but don’t let that belie the hard work that goes on every day behind the scenes. This season, after not being able to play a single game in the fall, the Bears had a chance to compete in a spring volleyball league. However, due to a gym conflict each afternoon with the badminton team, the girls had to utilize evening practices each night. Those who were already to committed to other spring sports could only attend practice on three of those nights. But these girls endured the challenges with a persevering joy to once again reach the pinnacle of the league.

In the moments before a championship game, nervous energy can be a challenge to control, but the confident Bears showed little of that despite shouldering all of the pressure and expectations. After LuHi took the match’s first point, the Bears ran off four in a row, punctuated by a sliding, one-arm dig from Niamh Scanlon that led to a point. LuHi pulled back to 4-3 with an ace, but Ava McCormick scored a touch kill and consecutive aces and Lilly Keegan fired a kill to push the lead to 8-3. An Ella Middlekauff kill that clipped the net and a Keegan kill that ricocheted off a LuHi defender and the ceiling gave the Brook a 10-5 edge, but Lutheran closed their deficit to 11-10, prompting a timeout by coach Allie Kennedy. Out of the timeout Ava McCormick spiked the ball into the deck and Gillian Bernier followed with an ace to nudge the advantage to 14-11. After LuHi grabbed the next score, the Bears snatched the pivotal point of the match when Scanlon used her face/shoulder to absorb a LuHi cannon before McCormick blocked another LuHi attempt to cap the furious rally and take a 15-12 lead. From there, the Bears closed the game on a 10-3 run to win the first set. A Bernier dig and Ella Middlekauff kill preceded a Lily Middlekauff ace as the lead swelled to 19-13. Shannuel Lamptey added a kill for a 21-14 advantage, Scanlon clipped the net on a free ball for a 23-15 lead, and Ella Middlekauff closed the set with a pair of aces.

In set two the Bears again built a quick lead after McCormick sent a kill off of a LuHi blocker for the first point and added a block for the second. A service error from LuHi followed, one of their five in the game, as the Bears took an early 4-1 lead. The Bears held a 5-3 lead when Keegan registered a pair of kills and an ace to push the advantage to 11-5 and force a LuHi timeout. Both teams traded points and the Brook still held a 14-6 advantage when LuHi reeled off a 9-2 run to take a 17-16 lead and put themselves in position to steal the ever-important set. The second set is always a pivotal one in a volleyball match as winning it after dropping the first set is the difference between being dead even and having to win three straight sets. But the late lead change did nothing to rattle the experienced Bears who would respond with their own 9-2 run to move within a set of the championship. A pair of LuHi errors gave the Brook the lead back at 18-17 and they never looked back, thanks to a pair of Lily Middlekauff aces that pushed the lead to 24-18 before the Bears took the set, 25-19.

The Bears appeared to take the heart out of LuHi after overcoming the late deficit in set two as they built an early 5-1 lead behind a Scanlon ace, a McCormick block, and a Lamptey kill. LuHi closed back to 9-7, but a pair of Keegan aces and a combined block from Scanlon and Ella Middlekauff gave the Brook a 12-7 cushion. With the score at 13-9 Ella Middlekauff took over serve and by the time she gave it back the match was essentially over as the freshman’s spinning serve ignited a 9-0 game-breaking run. It began with a pair of spikes from McCormick and Lamptey before LuHi failed to return Middlekauff’s next five serves. Two different LuHi timeouts could not stem the run, which was capped by a big Lamptey spike. From there the match held little drama before LuHi failed to return a Bernier serve on championship point for the 25-12 win. It marked the Bears’ 15th straight set win over LuHi, who has been their main PSAA rival over the last three years.

After the match Keegan, McCormick, Scanlon, and Lily Middlekauff were named All-PSAA while Keegan’s outstanding performance in the semifinal and championship earned her the Tournament MVP award.

As the Bears survey their amazing four-year run, they can also look ahead at a bright future as they return nearly the entire squad next year save for Lamptey and serving specialist Joan Bamgboye. In the next few years this team will have a chance to write their names alongside some of the greatest dynasties in the history of Stony Brook Athletics, and we should all feel very privileged to be along for the ride.

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Volleyball Punches Finals Ticket for 5th Straight Year

April 15, 2021
The Bears are back in the final (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

This afternoon the volleyball team swept 4th-seeded Solomon Schechter in the PSAA Semifinals to earn a berth in the championship match for the 5th year in a row. It was their 8th sweep of the season and 10th in a row dating back to last year’s semifinals.

Niamh Scanlon held the opening serve for the Bears and immediately staked them to an 8-0 lead, courtesy of five aces. It wasn’t until her sixth serve that the Lions were able to return it over the net. With the Bears ahead 11-4, they all but put the set away with 11 straight points, ignited by a kill and consecutive aces by Lily Middlekauff. Three straight kills by Keegan, Ella Middlekauff, and Scanlon pushed the lead to 20-4 before Lily Middlekauff dropped in another ace. With the Bears on the precipice of an opening win, Keegan scored the last three points on a flying touch kill and a pair of aces as the Bears took a 25-5 win.

In set two the Bears dropped the first point, but after an Ava McCormick kill and a Shannuel Lamptey ace, the Brook took a 5-1 lead. After a kill and consecutive aces from Ella Middlekauff, the Blue & White advantage swelled to 14-5, then 17-5 after the Brook won a long rally. The Bears led 22-8 when Keegan again shut the door on the set, sending the hit of the game into the deck for a 23-8 lead before hitting a spike to cap the 25-8 win.

In set three, a Scanlon ace and consecutive aces from Gillian Bernier gave the Brook an early 4-2 advantage before the Bears found their offensive stride, scoring on 12 of the next 13 points in their most dominant stretch of the match:

  • 6-2: Keegan kill
  • 7-2: Bernier ace into the deck
  • 8-2: L. Middlekauff kill
  • 9-2: Bernier ace on the back line
  • 9-3: Solomon Schechter point
  • 10-3: Keegan spike into the deck
  • 11-3: Keegan spike into the deck
  • 12-3: McCormick ace
  • 13-3: L. Middlekauff kill
  • 14-3: Keegan kill
  • 15-3: McCormick ace
  • 16-3: Keegan kill
  • 17-3: L. Middlekauff kill

Up 21-7, the Bears registered one of the points of the match when Schechter sent back two of McCormick’s hardest hits of the day before Bernier found hardwood for the kill. It proved to be the Lions’ last gasp as Scanlon dropped in an ace and McCormick spiked the final point for the 25-7 win.

With the win the Bears also improve to 16-0 all-time in home PSAA matches, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the postseason. They look to extend that streak and win a 2nd straight tournament championship in tomorrow’s match-up with Long Island Lutheran.

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Volleyball Cruises to 4th Straight Undefeated Season

April 14, 2021
The undefeated crew (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

A day after sweeping LuHi to clinch a 4th consecutive regular season title, the girls’ volleyball team overwhelmed Lawrence Woodmere to close out a 4th straight undefeated regular season with a 3-0 sweep. All seven wins this season have come in straight sets.

The Bears allowed the Tigers only 11 total points in the match, cruising to scores of 25-3, 25-3, 25-5.

In set one Gillian Bernier served up an incredible 18 consecutive aces while kills from Ava McCormick, Lilly Keegan, and Ella Middlekauff rounded out the opening win. In set two the Bears rode the serve of McCormick, who registered 6 straight aces, and Lily Middlekauff, who rang up 13 consecutive aces, to a 25-3 win. In the final set, Niamh Scanlon held serve for 12 straight points, using numerous aces to build a lead. Lily Middlekauff finished out the game with points on seven straight serves.

The Bears are back on the court tomorrow in a PSAA Semifinal match-up vs. either Solomon Schechter or Lawrence Woodmere.

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Audige Makes Impact in 1st Season at Northwestern

April 14, 2021

In his first season with the Northwestern University men’s basketball team, after transferring in from William & Mary, Chase Audige ’17 immediately stepped into a key role for the Wildcats. The sophomore led the team in points per game (12.3) and steals per game (1.5), was second in blocks per game (0.4) and assists per game (1.8), and fourth in rebounds per game (3.7).

The Northwestern athletic blog Inside NU graded the former Bear on his first season in Evanston, IL.

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Northwestern Men’s Basketball 2020-2021 Player Reviews: Chase Audige

The transition to Big Ten basketball was no problem for NU’s leading scorer.

After losing their last star transfer Pat Spencer to graduation, Wildcat fans were eager to see what the newcomer from William & Mary could do. After sitting out last season, Audige came into 2020-2021 ready to make an impact, and he did exactly that.

From his first game in the nonconference all the way through the Big Ten Tournament, Audige was one of the brightest spots on the team and a player that Chris Collins’ squad relied on to score points.

However, during Northwestern’s 13-game losing streak, he showed he has plenty of room for improvement in the coming years.

The Stats

At first glance, it appears that Audige does just about everything on the court. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none. Having put up an impressive rookie season at William & Mary, the Wildcat fanbase knew it was getting an athletic player who could defend, but the main concern was how he could take his scoring abilities and transition them into the brutal Big Ten. However, he quickly showed that he would be incredibly valuable on both ends of the court.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Coram, New York, shot the ball and a respectable 40% from the field and 34% from three to finish averaging 12.6 points per game. He also added 3.5 rebounds a game — good for fourth on the team — and his 44 assists on the season were the team’s second-best. He is capable of doing just about everything on the court, and with a usage rate of 27%, a lot of the offense runs through him. If Audige can continue his consistent play and somehow bolster those numbers, he has the opportunity to be remembered by Northwestern fans for many years to come.

Shot Distribution

Audige’s 277 field goal attempts were tied for the most with junior Miller Kopp, and those shots were scattered all around the court: 22% at the rim, 43% from behind the arc and 33% from midrange.

For someone as athletic and long as Audige, it’s a bit surprising not to see him go to the rim more, especially knowing how good he is around the basket. However, he proved he can shoot. While he’s eighth on NU’s roster in three-point percentage, no one shot more threes than him. Out of the three players who attempted over 100 threes on the team (Audige, Kopp, Buie), Audige trails only Buie in three-point percentage.

With only 9.4% of two-point jumpers being assisted, his capability to create his own shot served him well. Especially when his team needed it, he was able to create his own shots down the stretch on many occasions, proving he was a reliable offensive leader.

Dynamic on Both Ends

Audige shows that he can get it done on both ends of the court. He backed his defensive reputation coming into Evanston with his 34 steals in just 23 games, averaging 1.5 per game which is good for third in the Big Ten. But it was his seamless ability to score the ball in the Big Ten that surprised most.

He wasted no time introducing himself, as he averaged 15.5 points in his first four games. In addition to a smattering of other numerically impressive games, the highlight of Audige’s season came against the Big Ten Tournament’s runner-up and top-10 team Ohio State, against whom he put up 25 points. One month later, he scored 22 against the Big Ten Champions and No. 2 team in the country, Illinois. He can run with the best and score against the best.

In many crucial scenarios, Northwestern relied on Audige to be the go-to guy. As Buie struggled offensively at times, Audige held more of a playmaking role. His versatility on offense and defensive prowess made him the complete package at many times down the stretch, most notably against Indiana with a couple of huge baskets in the second half.

The Bottom Line

Audige was certainly a bright spot during a challenging season for Collins’ squad. He was a significant contributor on both offensive and defensive and brought crucial energy as one of the most reliable players on both ends of the court. However, moving forward, Audige needs to be more consistent, especially in the first half of games. If he can find that consistency, resolve his self-inflicted problems and continue to play such aggressive basketball, he will officially take over the star role on Northwestern’s roster for the next two seasons.

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Volleyball Clinches 4th Straight Regular Season Title

April 13, 2021
Queens of the league for a 4th straight year (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Yesterday afternoon, the girls volleyball team won their 32nd consecutive league match and clinched a 4th consecutive regular season championship with a 3-0 sweep over Long Island Lutheran. The victory also clinched the #1 seed and home court advantage for the Bears throughout the playoffs.

The Bears fell behind early, 2-4, on LuHi’s home court, but a Lilly Keegan kill and an Ava McCormick ace pulled them back even before they took a 6-4 lead. A Gillian Bernier kill gave the Brook a 10-7 lead, but LuHi hung tough, tying the score back up at 10-10. Ties at 11-11, 12-12, and 13-13 followed, but a service error by LuHi gave the Bears a 14-13 edge they would not relinquish. With the Brook still ahead 15-14, they used a 6-0 spurt, capped by a pair of Keegan aces, to finally get some breathing room at 21-15. An Ella Middlekauff ace and a McCormick spike put the Bears on the brink before LuHi hit the ball out for a 25-17 opening game win.

In game two, the Bears grabbed a 2-1 advantage early and never gave it back to build a commanding 2-0 lead. Lily Middlekauff slammed a kill off of two LuHi blockers to give the Bears a 4-2 lead and signal they were in full attack mode. Niamh Scanlon followed with a sliding dig that crept over the net and fell for a point and a 7-3 lead. Those two early plays gave the Blue and White plenty of momentum as they failed to be bothered by a LuHi team that never quite went away. Keegan followed with consecutive kills to push the edge to 10-4. After another Keegan kill and a missed serve from McCormick, the Bears held a commanding 19-12 edge with just six points to go, but LuHi reeled off four straight points to pull within 19-16. Coach Allie Kennedy called a time out that may have been just the trick to refocus the Bears as they grabbed the next point and pushed the advantage to 21-16 following a McCormick ace. Kills from Keegan and Scanlon and a Keegan ace followed to give the Brook a 24-17 lead and Bernier closed out the 25-18 win with a kill off of a LuHi blocker.

In game three the Bears fell behind early, 4-12, as LuHi fought to delay the Bears’ coronation. A Keegan spike and fist pump gave the girls a needed infusion of confidence as they grabbed the next three points to pull within 7-12. LuHi still led 7-13 when the Bears unleashed a 7-0 scoring run, punctuated by three straight Keegan aces, to grab a 14-13 lead. LuHi tied it back up at 14-14, 15-15, and 16-16, but a service error, followed by a rotation error, gave the Brook two points and an 18-16 lead. They would not trail again. With the Bears ahead 20-17, Keegan capped a long rally with a kill to take the last bit of fight out of Lutheran on the way to a 25-20 win.

The league title is the latest in a string that began in 2017, the team’s final year in Section XI. The girls won PSAA titles in 2018 and 2019. The Bears are back in action this afternoon as they look to close out a fourth straight undefeated regular season vs. Lawrence Woodmere.

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Etienne Tops at 2nd Big Ten Invite

April 12, 2021
Etienne in action last year (PC: Indiana Athletics)

On Saturday, Jyles Etienne ’17 earned his second victory of the spring season by jumping 6′ 8″ to win the high jump in the second Big Ten Invitational of the season, Hosted by Indiana University.

The former Bear passed at the first three heights, then cleared 6′ 4.75″, 6′ 6.25″, and 6′ 8″ on his first attempts to win the competition, before bowing out on three straight jumps at 6′ 9.75″.

Jyles and the Hoosiers are back in action this weekend at the Husker Big Ten Invitational in Prairie View, TX.

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Bears Victorious in Offensive Battle

April 12, 2021
Santiago in action earlier this season (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

On an intermittently beautiful and chilly Saturday morning, 25 total runs kicked up the dirt on Jeff Adams field. In a game of crooked innings, the Bears produced enough offense to emerge victorious in a 16-9 win over Wrath Baseball, Millennium High School’s travel program.

1st Inning

The Bears were slow to wake up for the 11:00am start time as Wrath loaded the bases with no outs on a single, a walk, and a hit by pitch. The next five outcomes at the plate yielded runs for the opponent thanks to a walk, an infield single, a ground out to first, a sacrifice bunt, and a double. A ground out to first mercifully ended the inning with the Bears trailing, 0-5. There were plenty of pursed lips on the Stony Brook side, especially once Wrath’s tall, wiry starter dug in and started sizzling upper 80s fastballs. But the Bears began the process of chipping away in their half of the first as Lee-Anthony Santiago and Justin Porrino reached base after being hit by pitches and Jojo Franco took first on a walk with no outs. A pair of strikeouts followed, but Logan Charboneau, in his first at bat of the season, drew a walk to plate the Bears’ first run to close within 1-5.

2nd Inning

Tim Wozny took over pitching duties in the second inning and looked sharp, registering a full count strikeout to the first batter, striking the second batter out looking, and working around a 2-out walk with another strikeout to infuse the Bears with some confidence. The Brook tacked on another run in the bottom, despite strikeouts from the first two batters. Santiago walked and moved to third on a pair of passed balls. Sam Ribeiro DiCanio followed with a walk, but the fourth ball was also a wild pitch, sending Santiago dashing home with the Bears’ second run. Franco and Tyler Smith drew walks to load the bases, but the Bears couldn’t take advantage and remained down, 2-5, heading to the third.

3rd Inning

An infield single and a pair of 1-out walks loaded the bases for Wrath as they went back to pressuring the Bear defense. Aaron Babaev came on in relief and induced a flyout to center, which plated a run, before ringing up a strikeout, after falling behind in the count 3-0, to limit further damage. The Bear offense finally awoke in their half of the third as they lit up the scoreboard with their own 5-run inning to grab a 7-6 lead that they would not relinquish. The Bears led off with a ground out, but Wozny began the rally with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a passed ball and then came home on a bloop single by Jayden Stroman. 3-6. Stephen Cisz followed with double down the right field line that plated a hustling Stroman. 4-6. A strikeout threatened to stem the tide, but Ribeiro DiCanio sent a bloop to almost the exact same dead zone that Stroman found to pull the Brook within 5-6. Franco then sent a ball over the right fielder’s head to knot the score before Smith skied a fly ball to right that fell to the earth for an E9 and a 7-6 lead.

4th Inning

Babaev threw up a zero in the fourth when he buckled the knees of the lead off hitter for a strikeout, then worked around an error and a walk to induce a deep fly out to Ben Monforth in left before Stroman leapt to snag a line out at second to end the inning. The Bears continued to tack on runs in the bottom half after Charboneau reached on an infield single and Stroman and Cisz walked. Santiago put a ball on the ground, but his hustle down the line forced a rushed throw to first which skipped past the baseman to yield a pair of runs. 9-6.

5th Inning

The Bears gave back two runs in the fifth on a walk, an error, a single and an error, and a passed ball, but still led 9-8 after the dust cleared. Franco led off the Bear half with his second double, but Wrath retired the rest of the side in order as the game moved to the sixth.

6th Inning

Santiago took over pitching duties in the sixth and closed out the game with four masterful innings. The inning began with a single, but Santiago picked off the runner for the first out. A walk followed, but Santiago started a 1-4-3 double play to slam the door on the inning. The Bears followed by taking back control of the game. Wozny led off with a walk before Cisz used his speed to dig out a 1-out infield single. The sophomore promptly stole second and Chris Diesso followed with a stinger to left field to bring in both runs. 11-8. Santiago and Ribeiro DiCano both walked to load the bases and Franco continued his impressive day with a 2-run single to left. 13-8. Smith then turned in a great at bat, earning a walk after falling behind 0-2, and Babaev kept the line moving with a 2-run single to right. 15-8.

7th-9th Innings

In the seventh, Santiago turned in one of the cleanest innings you’ll ever see, using just 5 pitches to induce three ground outs, including two back to himself, to dominate the side. Wrath came back by striking out the side in the bottom half, then threatened in the top of the eighth when a double and a single put two on with no one out. Another ground out back to the mound and a strikeout nearly got the Bears out of trouble, but an infield single plated a run to pull Wrath within 15-9. A backwards K by Santiago ended the threat. In the bottom half the Bears notched their final run when Santiago walked, stole second and third, and scored on an E4 off the bat of Franco. Then Santiago emphatically closed out the Bear victory with a pair of strikeouts and a line out to right to retire the side in order. For his four outstanding innings and busy day on the base paths, Santiago earned the day’s game ball.

The Bears are back in action on Tuesday afternoon at home in a rubber match vs. Ward Melville.

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