Stony Brook deserves its CWS spot
By Scott Rabalais
June 22, 2012
You kept waiting for the old purple and gold magic to materialize, for the LSU Tigers to wave their bats and conjure up another victory and be off to the College World Series once again because this is LSU baseball and that’s what the Tigers always do.
But Stony Brook, the team from the off, off, off Broadway of college baseball somewhere out on Long Island, never got a copy of the script. Nobody told them they were supposed to come here and bow down to mighty LSU and serve as the Tigers’ latest stepping stone.
How dare they, right? Damn Yankees indeed! Carpetbaggers! Northern aggressors! Just who do the Seawolves think they are, and while you’re at it, what in the name of Pedro Borbon is a Seawolf anyway?
I’ll tell you who the Seawolves are: They are the best team that played in this super regional, that’s for sure. They are a most deserving champion, not because of some birthright born in the 1980s, but because they earned it.
There is absolutely no way around it: LSU may have been the No. 7 national seed and Stony Brook may have been the No. 4 seed in its regional, but the Tigers were clearly the inferior team. Maybe if these teams played seven games, or 10, or 20, or 56, LSU would come out on top. But the combination of a very poor hitting weekend for LSU and a very determined and talented Stony Brook team proved to be much, much more than the Tigers could overcome.
The Seawolves outhit, outpitched, and Sunday night, they outdefensed an LSU team that never led except for the moment that Mason Katz drove in the winning run to give the Tigers a 5-4, 12-inning win Saturday morning in rain-plagued Game 1. Frankly, if LSU had somehow pulled it out with some miracle rally in the ninth Sunday night, the Seawolves would have gone home justifiably feeling they were robbed. And to think, if Stony Brook hadn’t won its conference tournament’s automatic bid, it may not have even gotten an NCAA nod.
Still, it’s hard to compute. When the game was over, there was a team doing a victory lap around Alex Box Stadium. But it was wearing red and white, not purple and gold. It’s to the credit of the stunned LSU fans, fans who are so often widely maligned as boorish and crude (as if any one fan base has a monopoly on that) that they stayed and shook Seawolves hands (fins?) and gave them a standing ovation.
“We made it!” a Stony Brook player could be heard to exclaim on the field as the team huddled and hugged and literally jumped for joy.
For Stony Brook, this is greatest single moment in the athletic program’s history. For LSU, if it had won, it would have been just another trip to the CWS.
Even if you’re an LSU fan who can find it in your heart to be happy for the Seawolves, there is bitter dejection, too. Getting thumped by Alabama in the BCS title game is one thing. That’s Alabama. You know them. Most LSU fans hadn’t heard of Stony Brook before this.
They won’t forget the Seawolves now. Not ever.