3 Stony Brook baseball players who turned down the majors

by Cameron Boon and Andrew Eichenholz

Not many kids have to make a life-altering decision when they graduate high school other than choosing a college to attend. Three members of the Stony Brook baseball team had to deliberate over something far bigger.

They each were drafted by a Major League Baseball squad, giving them a shot at a career of performing in front of thousands upon thousands of fans, day in and day out.

Should they sign a professional baseball contract or accept an athletic scholarship to Stony Brook University?

Johnny Caputo, Daniel Zamora and Ryley MacEachern took a chance and picked Stony Brook.

Now, while hitting the books at the same time that they pitch and swing at baseballs, they must earn that chance again at being picked up by a Big League team.

Who gave up the chance to play professional baseball?

(Andrew Eichenholz)
Johnny Caputo, 21, a junior business major, was selected in the 12th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics. A Toronto native, he was the sixth Canadian to get picked that year. (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
“If you want to play college baseball, you’ve got to go to the [United] States. So, being Canadian, I accepted this a while ago,” Caputo said about playing far away from where he grew up. “It’s not too, too bad; it could be a lot worse. New York is far, but you kind of learn to adjust after awhile.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
“I think the biggest thing that swayed my decision was the business program and the coaching staff,” Caputo, a third baseman, said. “I knew a lot of people who had come to Stony Brook before me, and based off of their recommendations, I figured it would be a good fit for me.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
Both Ryley MacEachern (left) and Daniel Zamora (right) are pitchers for the Seawolves. MacEachern was selected in the 37th round of the 2013 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, while Zamora was chosen in the 27th round of the 2012 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Since they have joined Stony Brook, both have torn the labrum in their pitching shoulders, setting them back in their pursuits of careers in professional baseball. (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
MacEachern, a 20-year-old sophomore from Massachusetts, showed his talent right off the bat in his debut season, earning a spot on the America East Conference All-Rookie team. “Stony Brook just had more to offer,” MacEachern said about why he did not sign a pro contract when it was on the table. “We both wanted to kind of mature a little bit, on and off the field.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
“I’m back, but my innings aren’t full yet, and I’m throwing as hard as I’ve ever thrown. So, I think the way we looked at it was like, ‘Wow, this could have happened in pro ball, and that would have sucked’,” MacEachern said about recovering from his shoulder injury, which may have ruined any shot he had at making his way up the professional ranks if he had chosen that option. “Now, it happened here, we have a good staff and people behind us, supporting us.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
Zamora, a 21-year old sophomore from California, was forced to sit out for the entirety of last season while he worked his way back from shoulder issues of his own. “I didn’t feel like I was ready to handle a minor league schedule or just do all of that stuff in general,” Zamora said. “I thought college was a really good choice for me.”  (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
Each of Stony Brook’s three former draftees cannot take back their decisions now, but what they can do is put their gloves on and get to work in an effort to earn that opportunity again. “It definitely crosses my mind once in a while, but I don’t regret any decision I’ve made, I’m happy where I am,” Caputo said. “Would it have been cool to sign out of high school? Yeah, but I think I’ve had a lot of cool experiences that outweigh that.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
Stony Brook Head Coach Matt Senk is in his 25th season at Stony Brook, during which he has mentored all three Seawolves (Joe Nathan, Tom Koehler and Nick Tropeano) who have made it to the major leagues, like Caputo, MacEachern and Zamora hope to do. “Everyone always says once you leave, you love him, while you’re here, you hate him,” MacEachern said lightheartedly. “When you’re gone, even while you’re here, he’ll do whatever he can to help you with anything.” (Andrew Eichenholz)
(Andrew Eichenholz)
While all three have faced their fair share of obstacles after giving up a shot at being a professional baseball player. all they can do is enjoy the ride. “I think it just helped me,” Zamora said about not signing a professional contract. “Instead of ruining any chances, it helped me as a person, as a player, in any general aspect, it just helped me a lot.” (Andrew Eichenholz)

Nothing like America’s Pastime in the Spring

Spring is right around the corner and that only means one thing: Stony Brook Baseball is back. It’s been around for 100 years and some of the pictures just look right.

The Seawolves only lost three games on the road last season (MEHMET TEMEL / THE STATESMAN)
The Seawolves only lost three games on the road last season (MEHMET TEMEL / THE STATESMAN)

The Baseball team takes the field at home for the first time on March 1st when they take on New York Institute of Technology, as Joe Nathan Field gets set to host another season of baseball.

They have lost two straight series, taking only one game of three against both Nicholls State and Louisiana-Lafayette. But they finished 20-3 at home last year, an incredible record.

This story would be fun because the star pitcher, sophomore Tyler Honahan, is a candidate for America East Pitcher of the Year. Seeing what it takes to get there during games and what he does that makes him a candidate for one of the highest honors in the conference.

Another nice story for the Seawolves is that this team has been one of the greatest in the conference for a long time, even making it to the national stage with their College World Series appearance in 2012. It would be interesting to capture what it takes to get to the highest stage in college baseball.

The one thing that is nice about Athletics is that we will have access to the players and manager Matt Senk to talk to them about their experiences.

Stony Brook shows its nerdy side at NerdFest 2.0

Hundreds of Stony Brook University’s nerdiest students gathered in the Student Activities Center Ballroom to share their love for video games, role-playing games and anime on Friday for the university’s second annual NerdFest.

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NerdFest sign on the doors of SAC Ballroom A, directing students towards the fun/photo credit: Maddy Marcus

Students were able to unwind after a week of hard work, share some snacks, play games with friends, or even meet some new faces while enjoying the freedom to express their inner nerd.

“Nerds are a lot more fun than people give them credit for,” Joe Bucci, 19, a biomedical engineering major at Stony Brook, said. “It seems like a fun place to hang out for a couple of hours.”

The Stony Brook Gamer’s Guild brought NerdFest to the campus for the first time last spring. It made such a big impact on the student body that they brought it back this semester.

NerdFest 2.0, as it was called this year, set up a variety of tables to cater to the different levels of interest of all the attendees. Clubs, like SBU Gamer’s Guild and the Animated Perspectives club, set up to advertise what they were all about and even included hands-on activities for students to enjoy. Among the most popular activities were game systems that were set up at three different tables with games like Wario Ware and the Super Smash Bros. series.

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Students playing “Eldrich Horror”/Photo credit: Maddy Marcus

Video game stations were accompanied by role-playing games, or RPGs, set up at different tables around the ballroom floors. Groups of 10 students met at these table to show off their skills as masters of mythical worlds.“Eldrich Horror” was among the most popular games of the night. In this game, players created teams to investigate the mysteries of the world and fight off evil creatures.

Jacqui Albin, 20, a junior psychology major, said she attended NerdFest in hope to promote her idea of bringing a new convention to Stony Brook called “WhatCon.”

After I-con, a science fiction convention held on Long Island, stopped coming to Stony Brook, Albin has been pioneering to bring something similar back to the campus.

“WhatCon is short, memorable and east to advertise,” she said. “It’s been brewing in my head ever since I found out that I-Con left the campus.”

Albin has been attending conventions and cosplaying since she was in high school. She said that bringing back a small convention to Stony Brook will help make the campus more lively and fun.

Albin was not the only student at the convention advertising her ideas for fun and creative events on campus. Stony Brook’s Human v.s. Zombies also made an appearance at NerdFest. SBU HvZ is a huge game of tag played every semester by a large group of students who run around campus with Nerf Guns trying to rid the campus of “zombies.”

The game starts out with one infected student who grows the zombie army by tagging students dubbed as “human.” Moderators of the game send out group texts of “missions” that players can join in on throughout the weeklong event.

Gregory Jo, mechanical engineering masters student, mans the table for Animated Perspectives/Photo Credit: Maddy Marcus
Gregory Jo, mechanical engineering masters student, mans the table for Animated Perspectives/Photo Credit: Maddy Marcus

“A lot of new students are on campus every semester and some don’t know,” Asher Kaufman, 21, a moderator of HvZ and computer science major, said. “Hopefully us being here will help them realize that we’re still here and they should come join and play.”

Animated Perspectives, Stony Brook’s anime and manga club, brought their WiiU and let students join in and compete in some rounds of Super Smash  Bros. 4.

Cosplay was strongly encouraged this year and some students went all out in preparing their costumes for the event.

This year’s NerdFest may not be the last as president of the Gamer’s Guild, Alice Quiros, said in a Facebook post that the club will be “looking into doing this again next year.”

Gamer's Guild President expresses her gratitude for this year's NerdFest
Gamer’s Guild President expresses her gratitude for this year’s NerdFest

Stony Brook Women’s Basketball Team Wins.

The Stony Brook women’s basketball team won last night’s game against UMBC by a whopping score of 74-41.

The Seawolves are on a three-game winning streak and have won five of their last six games.

Stony Brook senior Sabre Proctor scored 17 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Christa Scognamiglio and senior Jessica Ogunorrin both scored 13 points.

UMBC started off the game with a 3-0 lead. But moments later, Stony Brook took the lead and never came back.

Before the game, the first 250 attendees were treated to free Jamba Juice and Energy fitness cinch bags that included free two-week passes to the gym.

Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta
Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta

During the game, contest winners were announced during a few short segments. Prizes included gift cards and free tickets to future games.

Seawolf fans were there cheering on their team. “I think it’s hysterical that the UMBC coach already got T’d up in the first half,” said Lindsay Pike, 20, a junior health science major.

“T’d” up is a term used in basketball when a team receives a technical foul.

Pike said she comes to the women’s basketball games because she is a true Seawolf.

Between the 6:49 mark and half-time, the Seawolves scored 10 points and went ahead, 23-9, after Miranda Jenkins hit a pair of free throws.

At half-time, the SBU dance team had a moment to show off their moves to the new hit pop song “Sugar” by Maroon 5.

Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta
Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta

The crowd was roaring and stopping, chanting throughout the game. “Defense, Defense, Defense,” echoed throughout the arena. “Go, Fight, Win,” the crowd chanted.

Every time a player got a free throw, the crowd lifted up its arms and hollered “whoosh” in encouragement — the sound a basketball makes when it goes through the hoop.

Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta
Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta

With five minutes left on the clock, UMBC starting to pick up the heat, scoring 10 points within three minutes, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Seawolves.

Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta
Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta

With one minute left, UMBC still tried their best to catch up until the buzzer rang.

The Seawolves won 74-41.

This is now the fifth time in a row that the Seawolves have defeated the Retrievers.

After the game, the Seawolves met with fans in the main lobby.

The girls sported pink in honor of Play4Kay, an effort that supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association  and the V Foundation, in the fight against women’s cancers.

Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta
Photo Credit: Nicole Falletta

I took the opportunity to ask point guard Miranda Jenkins, power forward Sabre Proctor and power forward Brittany Snow how they felt about their five-time victory against UMBC.

“They’re a great team. I remember playing them freshman year and we just had to keep fighting and keep fighting because they always bring it,” said junior Brittany Snow.

The Stony Brook Women’s Basketball Team Dominate UMBC

The Stony Brook Women’s basketball team beat UMBC, 74-41, on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena. The win put the Seawolves on a three-game winning streak.

 

 

The national anthem was performed by the Stony Brook Marching Band before the game began at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Photo Credit: Krysten Massa    The national anthem was performed by the Stony Brook Marching Band before the game began at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

 

Senior Sabre Proctor dominated the court, scoring 17 points.

Both teams also sported pink headbands, shoes and other apparel in honor of Play 4Kay. Pkay 4Kay is a cancer fund in partnership with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association committed to finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancer.  The scoreboards and screens around the court were also covered in pink for the night, as well as the Stony Brook Dance Team’s pom poms.

The Stony Brook Dance Team cheered on the sidelines.
Photo Credit: Krysten Massa    The Stony Brook Dance Team cheered on the sidelines.
The team signed posters and shirts for fans after the game.
Photo Credit: Krysten Massa   The team signed posters and shirts for fans after the game.

 

 

 

 

 

There were a couple of give-away’s during the night too. Jamba Juice gave away 250 smoothies to the lucky fans who arrived early enough.

 

Free Jamba Juice smoothies were given to the first 250 guests.
Photo Credit: Krysten Massa    Free Jamba Juice smoothies were given to the first 250 guests.

Energy Premier Fitness Experience also gave away backpacks with a free two week pass inside.

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Despite all the promotions the stands were not very packed.

Sarah Heacox, a freshman biomedical engineering major, attended the game with her two friends. She said that she was having fun but it is a shame that there were not that many people there.

 

The stands were empty for the game Wednesday night.
Photo Credit: Krysten Massa  The stands were empty for the game Wednesday night.

The crowd was still loud and energetic, even though there was not much of them. The Stony Brook Marching Band played in the stands and Wolfie  kept the crowd warmed up.

The game ended a little before 9 p.m., and after the team was done signing shirts and posters for the fans, some players spoke a little about how they played.

“Our goal going in was to out rebound them and to make more free throws than them,” Alyssa Coiro, a junior political science and history major said.

Aaliyah Worley, a freshman undeclared major, said that they also wanted to make sure that they moved the ball around the court and that it was successful during the  game.

The next home game for the Seawolves will be Feb. 18 vs. UMass Lowell.

Free smoothies and basketball to bring in the Seawolves

Swishh!!

The Stony Brook women’s basketball team have a game Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. vs UMBC.

Photo Credit: Basil John/The Statesman
Photo Credit: Basil John/The Statesman

Division I basketball is always exciting to watch, however this game will be particularly awesome because there are a bunch of fun promotions, including 250 free smoothies courtesy of Jamba Juice.

Who doesn’t love drinking delicious smoothies while watching some good athletics?

The game should be a good one too and hopefully a win for Stony Brook. The Seawolve’s current record is 13-10 and UMBS’s current record is 8-15, according to ESPN’s Women’s Basketball standings..

Based on those records there is a good chance that the Seawolves will come out on top!

Another exciting game about the basketball games is how interactive the games are!

Stony Brook athletics the fans who will be tweeting during the game to use the hashtag #beLIeve.

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 Why is this something that we should cover?

Well, there will be a lot going on. Basketball games alone are good to cover because the fast-paced game is great for live tweeting.

Also, all of the give-away’s are perfect for tweeting pictures of happy fans! There will be a lot of good photo opportunities and with the hashtags and twitter handles, like SBAthletics and StonyBrookWBB, there is the potential for a lot of interaction.

The games are always a lot of fun. So let’s all go out, sport our red, grab our phones and go, go, go Seawolves!

 

SBU Women’s Basketball Looks to Finish its Season Strong

When Head Coach Caroline McCombs and her women’s basketball team takes the floor on Wednesday, Feb. 18, against the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks, it will be more than just a basketball game.

The Seawolves will have one of their last chances to not only prepare for the all-important America East Conference tournament, but to show what they are made of in front of a raucous home crowd at the new Island Federal Credit Union Arena.

The Seawolves play in their new 4,000-seat home, Island Federal Credit Union Arena
The Seawolves play in their new 4,000-seat home, Island Federal Credit Union Arena. (ANDREW EICHENHOLZ)

Stony Brook has only lost at home three times all season long, and look to continue that success as the year draws to a close.

The arena is the newest addition to the Stony Brook Athletics family. It is located at the corner of the academic mall, within the Indoor Sports Complex, which is adjacent to the newly-named Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center, Stony Brook’s gym.

Stony Brook students have filed into the new Island Federal Credit Union Arena, especially on school nights.
Stony Brook students have filed into the new Island Federal Credit Union Arena, especially on school nights. (ANDREW EICHENHOLZ)

Stony Brook Orthopedic will be giving out free rally towels to fans in attendance.

It will also be Asian Culture Night, as senior forward Sabre Proctor and company look to take down UMass-Lowell, a team that the Seawolves beat earlier in the season by just four points.

Stony Brook will also be hosting You Can Play Night , which is an initiative to make sports a place where anybody, regardless of sexual orientation or any other beliefs, could play.

The Seawolves have done a lot with this project, including making a video to show its main tenets.

This would be a good event for a mobile journalist to cover for both timeliness and venue. People are still trying to get their first look at Stony Brook’s new arena.

Seawolves fans who cannot make the game would also enjoy updates on their favorite team, as they play one of the most important games of the year.

A mobile reporter can be the first to break the score to Stony Brook’s fan base, bringing the news of momentum swings and individual player performance, along with providing updates on other festivities that may take place throughout the night.

There is no better place for the Stony Brook faithful to check in on the game if they are not there themselves than online, as they can find the most important information about what is taking place, instantly.

National media will also be at the game, as ESPN 3 will be broadcasting the contest live on the internet for everybody to see.