Wilson Post Blogs
Seawolves eat Tigers!
Whether they win a game or not, the Stony Brook Seawolves are the story of this year’s College World Series.
I am sure I have heard of Stony Brook somewhere in my past of writing and talking about sports. For the life of me, I could not tell you anything about it without going to my research assistant, Mr. Google.
For all I knew, its most famous graduate was Rebecca of Stony Brook Farm fame.
I certainly could not tell you what conference the ‘Wolves play in. Of course, it’s the American East Conference.
In 1991, Stony Brook was competing in NCAA Division III baseball. That’s where you a school has no athletic scholarships to give.
A few years later they moved up to Division II. Again, nowhere near the competitive level of top Division I clubs that divvy up 11.7 scholarships a year for baseball.
They have been playing Division I baseball since 2000. Cumberland University baseball coach Woody Hunt has sliding pads older than that.
Woody has largely toiled in anonymity at Cumberland University in Lebanon. They compete in the NAIA and even though he has managed to win two NAIA national titles, his achievements have virtually gone unnoticed by media as close as Nashville, not to mention the national media.
Hunt, who built his program into an NAIA power and pretty much developed the Cumberland baseball facility from the ground up, has some feelings for what Stony Brook Coach Mark Senk has gone through while building a program that is now going to be put on the map by virtue of becoming the second No. 4 seed to ever win a Super Regional in College World Series history.
“First of all they’re a good team, a legit team. I think they will make some noise out there (in Omaha),’’ Hunt said. “To do what they did against one of the best teams in the country is just mind boggling.’’
Hunt appreciates the journey the Seawolves have taken to reach the level they are playing now.
“They were a Division III program at one time and now they’re going to Omaha. It’s one of the greatest baseball stories I’ve ever heard, in college baseball at least,’’ he said.
I know my readers can tell you that Stony Brook University is located on Long Island. But do you know what Seawolves are?
A Stony Brook assistant coach was asked that very question after his team was bouncing all over the Alex Box Stadium field at LSU Sunday.
He thought for a minute before taking a stab at the answer.
“Well,’’ he said. “They eat Tigers.’’
Ouch. Double Ouch. That hurt.
This team came into the Tigers’ Den and inflicted pain on the heavily favored SEC team, a No. 1 seed playing a Super Regional in its backyard.
This is a frequent CWS visitor, these Tigers. They have six national championship trophies. And they shockingly watched their season go down the drain to the Seawolves.
They were beaten 7-2 in the championship game Sunday, marking their second loss in the best two-of-three series, eliminating them from the tournament. It was no fluke. They outhit LSU in the three games, 35-15. That is some dominant baseball with hitting and pitching. Their three starting pitchers gave up only one earned run.
“People in the South hadn’t heard about Stony Brook,’’ LSU Coach Paul Mainieri said. “They know who they are now.’’
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they had to learn the hard way.