With a 7-2 victory in Game 3 of the Baton Rouge Super Regional on Sunday, Stony Brook eliminated Louisiana State and became just the second team ranked as a No. 4 seed in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the College World Series.
If you haven't been following the road to Omaha, it's time to tune in. Where is Stony Brook, what's a Seawolf and why does everyone keep saying they've "shocked the world"? Here's the rundown on college baseball's latest upset special:
Cinderella lives on Long Island: Located about 55 miles from Manhattan on Long Island's North Shore, Stony Brook University is a New York State school with about 25,000 students. Although the Seawolves have won the America East Conference regular-season title twice since joining the league in 2002, they had gone 1-6 and failed to advance past the regional round in three NCAA Tournament appearances prior to this season.
Regional surprise: After finishing the regular season 52-13 (21-3 in the America East), Stony Brook was seeded fourth in the four-team Coral Gables regional. College baseball is largely dominated by Southern and Western powers, and few gave the Seawolves a chance against the likes of Miami and Central Florida. But Stony Brook went 4-1 in the double-elimination round, defeating UCF 10-6 in the decisive game and advancing to the Super Regional against Louisiana State in Baton Rouge.
Goodbye to the Tigers: A national power since the late 1980's, LSU has won six NCAA titles and produced dozens of big leaguers including Albert Belle, Brian Wilson and Aaron Hill (Stony Brook has produced exactly one: Joe Nathan). The Tigers finished the regular season ranked No. 7 in the nation and breezed through their regional with three straight wins. When LSU prevailed in the Super Regional opener, a 12-inning Game 1 thriller split between Friday and Saturday due to rain, Stony Brook's run appeared close to an end. But the Seawolves took Game 2 behind a complete game from Tyler Johnson and then kept the mound magic going on Sunday. This time it was Frankie Vanderka going the distance, holding LSU to just two runs on three hits while the Seawolves pounded out 15 base knocks in a 7-2 win.
So what's next?: Stony Brook will be in Omaha when the College World Series kicks off on Friday. Can the Seawolves prolong their miracle run? The odds are stacked against them with perennial powerhouses like Arizona, Florida and Florida State also already qualified. But remember that tidbit a few paragraphs ago about Stony Brook becoming the second regional-round 4-seed to advance to the CWS? The other -- Fresno State in 2008 -- took home the national championship.