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On This Day In History | 1996

May 23, 2019
Baseball 1996

The ’96 County Champs

On this day 23 years ago, the baseball team won the second Suffolk County Championship in program history with a 7-5 win over Hampton Bays. Here is the recap of the game from Victor Fernandes of Newsday:

Grimm’s Bat, Arm Help Stony Brook Win ‘C’ Title

Stony Brook baseball coach Tom Grimm and Hampton Bays coach Pete Meehan both knew the importance of yesterday’s Suffolk Class C championship game. The Baymen had an opportunity to defend last year’s title. The Bears had a chance to make amends for last season’s heartbreaking finish, in which a tie-breaker cost them a playoff spot.

But both coaches knew they had more important things to think about, namely their pitching staffs, or lack thereof. The three-games-in-three-days playoff system left them with few options. So it wasn’t shocking to either that the pitching was often ugly. But in the end, it was one of those pitchers – freshman Pete Grimm – who came through in a big way. How? He blooped a two-out, two-run single into left-centerfield to complete Stony Brook’s three-run, sixth-inning rally in its 7-5 comeback win. The title is the Bears’ first since 1987. “All I could do was watch the ball,” said Pete Grimm, the coach’s son. “I was dying for it to drop… I knew we had the heart to come back.”

No. 3 Stony Brook (20-4) had to start its comeback sooner than expected after No. 4 Hampton Bays (16-8) scored four in the first on one hit (Kevin Bodkin’s RBI infield single), four walks off shaky starter John Bonnano and two errors. The Bears got one back in the bottom of the inning on Paul Ciofrone’s RBI triple and tied it in the third on Chris Liese’s two-run single and Andre Hines’ sacrifice fly.

In the meantime, Pete Grimm, who normally plays second, was shutting down the Baymen for 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one hit and three walks before turning it over to closer Robbie Marvin, who had pitched six innings in the Bears’ first two postseason wins. “We were out of sequence,” said Tom Grimm, whose strategy has been to use two pitchers for three innings apiece with Marvin finishing. “But {Pete} has a lion’s heart and Robbie’s a tiger.”

Marvin clawed his way through the final four innings, allowing four hits and one walk to earn the win.

“It was a difficult situation,” said Meehan, who was forced to start No. 4 Tim Price after No. 2 Bodkin hurt his pitching hand playing basketball Sunday. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Any team {Grimm} coaches is going to play hard.”

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Bear

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