Tigers fall at UNC-W
The bats of the Colonial Athletic Association-leading UNC-Wilmington (29-18, 19-5 CAA) routed Towson (21-27, 11-13 CAA) in the last of a three-game series on Sunday, defeating the Tigers at Brooks Field by a final of 12-2.
The loss marks Towson’s seventh over the last eight games, as well as UNC-Wilmington’s eighth series win over a conference opponent.
The Seahawks have not lost a series this season against other CAA teams.
The Tigers took the first game of the series on Friday with a strong combined effort by pitchers Michael Trionfo, Chris Acker and Tyler Austin who held the Seahawks to one run.
However, in the final two games of the series, the Tigers were outscored by a combined 23-4.
The Seahawks offense was led by Thomas Pope who finished a double shy of the cycle Sunday, logging three hits, nine total bases and three runs batted in. It was more than enough help for pitcher Jordan Ramsey, who went 7.2 innings and allowed one earned run and struck-out four batters.
“We haven’t figured any [pitcher] out in a long time,” Head Coach Mike Gottlieb said. “We got some guys that could or should be pretty good hitters that aren’t hitting right now. It doesn’t matter who faces us, were not swinging the bat very well.”
UNC-Wilmington tallied the first two runs of Sunday’s game on a two-out rally in the first inning. With runners on second and third, Pope hit a fly ball to left field that dropped after Towson leftfielder Peter Bowles collided with shortstop Hunter Bennett. As a result, two runs scored on Pope’s triple to give the Seahawks the early 2-0 lead.
The Seahawks added their third run of the game in the second inning after shortstop Jake Koenig led the inning off with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout by designated hitter Corey Dick.
A fly ball to left field by second baseman Michael Bass was deep enough to score Koenig and pad the lead.
Towson answered back in the top of the third inning when third baseman Zach Fisher led off with a double to center field and scored on an RBI single by centerfielder Ben Winter.
Winter advanced to third on a single by shortstop Hunter Bennett, who advanced to second on a fielding error by rightfielder Tyler Molinaro.
Second baseman Pat Fitzgerald hit a ground ball to Koenig who threw Bennett out at third base, but allowed Winter to score and cut the Seahawks’ lead to 3-2.
The Seahawks made sure that their slim margin would be short-lived, however, when centerfielder Andrew Cain’s seventh home run of the year and Pope’s third home run of the year in the next inning reclaimed UNC-Wilmington’s three run lead, 5-2.
UNC-Wilmington scored two more runs, but it wasn’t until the sixth inning when they broke the game open.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Dick doubled down the right-field line to score all three runners, and would later score on a single by Bass to give the Seahawks an 11-2 lead.
A double by pinch hitter Luke Dunlap in the ninth inning gave the Seahawks their twelfth and final run of the game, which was more than enough to clinch the win against Towson, who only scored in the third inning of the game.
“Hitting also means having a solid mental approach,” Gottlieb said “We have too many guys that don’t have that right now. We have too many guys that get themselves out. This has been the case for quite some time.”