Stony Brook did not open the 2012 College World Series the way the Seawolves hoped they would, falling behind 5-0 in the first inning and never really competing in a 9-1 loss to the UCLA Bruins on Friday in Omaha, Neb. Stony Brook, the Long Island school making its first-ever appearance in the College World Series, still has an opportunity as the event is double-elimination.
Stony Brook (52-14) will face Florida State (48-16) in an elimination game on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2). The Seminoles lost to Arizona, 4-3, in their opening game on Friday.
Stony Brook starting pitcher Tyler Johnson entered Friday's game with a 9-1 record, but lasted only 2 1/3 innings, surrendering seven UCLA runs.
"I just wasn't on today," said Johnson via a transcript provided by ASAP Sports. "When I needed to make a pitch, I didn't today."
Johnson wasn't buying the notion that the Seawolves, only the second No. 4 seed to reach the College World Series, were overwhelmed by the circumstance.
"We played in front of 11,000 people in Baton Rouge, all people who were rooting against us and screaming at us and stuff like that. I think every once in a while you're going to have a bad game, and that's what happened today," said Johnson. "We're a very good ballclub and we're here for a reason. But like I said, it didn't go our way today. That's going to happen. It's baseball. We'll get back after it on Sunday."
UCLA starter Adam Plutko earned the win, giving up just one run on five hits in seven innings.
"I felt that at any time we could perhaps get the game going our way. We did a lot of that in the Regional with some really solid comebacks," said Stony Brook coach Matt Senk, whose team failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the second and fifth innings. "Both innings, we had second and third with less than two outs, and it was there for us. He [Plutko] did a good job, but we needed to do a better job. I thought it could have shifted momentum in our direction, but we were never able to gather any momentum at all."
The Seawolves need a victory on Sunday to stay alive in the tournament.
"We've been in this position before in the Regional, the Super Regional," said catcher Patrick Cantwell, whose third-inning home runs provided Stony Brook's only run. "We have to fight back from the bottom. So the team's got a lot of heart, and we'll come out on Sunday ready to play and we'll give it everything we've got."