Stony Brook baseball players look to earn another chance while seeking success as a team

When any college sports team takes the field, it is not about a group of athletes stepping onto a playing field to try to win. Instead, those young adults are students as well.

Some student-athletes have given up more than just their free time to join their respective teams.

The Stony Brook Seawolves have three alum who currently hold a roster spot on a Major League Baseball team. Joe Nathan, Tom Koehler and Nick Tropeano all put on a baseball jersey in front of thousands of people every day and night.

Kevin Krause was picked in the MLB Draft last season after playing in front of nearly nobody at Joe Nathan Field. (NINA LIN/ THE STATESMAN)
Kevin Krause was picked in the MLB Draft last season after playing in front of nearly nobody at Joe Nathan Field. (NINA LIN/ THE STATESMAN)

On this season’s Seawolves squad, there are players who gave up that chance in order to pursue an education and enhance their abilities at the same time.

In fact, Johnny Caputo, who is a junior infielder from Ontario, was drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. That is a relatively high selection, as there are 40 rounds, full of college and high school players. Caputo passed on the dream to come to Stony Brook.

The same goes for left-handed pitcher Daniel Zamora, a sophomore. He went in the 27th round, but also chose to pursue his studies while looking to enhance his stock as a prospect in the college game.

When the Seawolves take on NYIT at their own Joe Nathan Field on Tuesday at 3 p.m., each of these stories will take the field, looking to pave their paths to success as a team. As individuals, they push to achieve their professional dreams of playing in front of thousands, even though the game Tuesday may only have a handful of fans in the crowd.

Then, there are those like left-handed pitcher Tyler Honahan who are coming into their own while donning their Seawolves attire. The youngster has taken the America East Conference by storm since he came to Long Island, becoming a draft prospect himself to one day join the ranks of the professionals.

So, shooting photographs of this otherwise meaningless baseball game will not be about documenting one player throwing a ball and another one hitting it. Instead, it will show where a bunch of what still are kids are working everyday towards achieving their goals. Whether that is fighting to earn another chance, or clawing for a first shot, the Seawolves are made up of an interesting groups of individuals in interesting situations.

When looking at Caputo in the batter’s box, with only a couple of diehard fans distantly in the background, imagine what could have been. A couple could be a sold-out crowd.

As Zamora and company hurl pitches off the mound with grimaces on their faces, does that only show the strain of throwing that one pitch, or a hard-fought journey to achieve a dream?

For Head Coach Matt Senk, he has seen it all. He was with this team when they were in NCAA’s Division III with no scholarships on a field fitting for a high school squad. Now, he huddles his team up on a recently-completed multi-million dollar project. That is more than the ordinary baseball coach has seen.

Again, this game is more than just watching to see who scored more runs.
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ORIGINAL PITCH- CHANGED TO BASEBALL

One would think that the spring sports season would be accompanied by heat and sunshine. Instead, as Stony Brook’s men’s lacrosse team continues their season, they still contend with a chilly, snow-dwarfed Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium.

Ironically enough, it is of the utmost importance for the Seawolves to warm up, as America East Conference play starts just two weeks following their contest against the Stags.

Junior Challen Rogers looks to lead the Seawolves to victory. (NINA LIN/ THE STATESMAN)
Junior Challen Rogers looks to lead the Seawolves to victory. (NINA LIN/ THE STATESMAN)

Although the stands do not fill up quite as quickly for a game of lacrosse compared to a basketball match up in the new Island Federal Credit Union Arena, there are just as many if not more opportunities for a story.

The yellow rubber ball, if not many of them, are bound to fly off of an erroneous shot or pass into the mounds of snow coating the sidelines and most of the seating areas.

What better way to show a reader that a spring sport is being played in the winter than by snapping a shot of a ball lodged in the snow?

In fact, the Seawolves were supposed to take on defending National Champion today, Feb. 22, but the team from North Carolina was not able to flight out because of winter weather.

Furthermore, every aspect of a game can be told through a camera lens. Catching a coach with their hands in the air or on their heads shows more than just a physical action. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and someone taking a look at a lacrosse photo story could tell how the coach is feeling about the game by looking at one image.

In a way, a camera could capture the action itself better than words.

Even for avid lacrosse fans, it is hard to envision exactly what this refers to. Was Schultz right by the goalie, or was he merely off balance further away? A picture is able to answer this, and contribute to tell the story of a lacrosse game.

Michael Evans, a lacrosse player for Team USA, although he did not mean it that way, once summed up sports photography best.

“It’s all about the little things.”

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