Stony Brook is the real deal.
It takes luck to knock off LSU. It takes talent to win the College World Series. Stony Brook just happens to have luck and talent.
When the Seawolves shocked the Tigers, they didn’t just catch LSU on a couple of nights where everything went wrong—cold hitting, rusty pitching. Plain and simple, Stony Brook was the better team. They showcased a level of talent that proves they belong.
According to CBS Sports, LSU head coach Paul Mainieri raved about the Seawolves after the Tigers’ loss. He said:
They outplayed us really in every phase of the game. The people in the South haven't heard much about Stony Brook, but they know who they are now. They gained an awful lot of respect not only down here but nationwide. That team can play with anybody.
The unknown Seawolves slaughtered Miami. They beat UCF and LSU twice. And now UCLA should brace themselves because they’re next on their hit list.
Centerfielder Travis Jankowski—the first player in Stony Brook history to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft—said after advancing to the College World Series (via CBS Sports): "Our motto is: `Shock the world and win the last game of the season. So as long as we do that, we should be all right from here on out."
Jankowski knows as well as anyone that each Seawolves win would indeed shock the world.
Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News reported that Jankowski said that before he was recruited: “I had never even heard of Stony Brook. I didn’t know where Stony Brook was or what a Seawolf was.”
UCLA is talented. But so were the Tigers, Hurricanes and Knights. Expect the Seawolves to push the Bruins to the limit and don’t be shocked if they knock them out.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.