Towson’s season ends with 14-9 loss to VCU
Towson’s season came to an end Thursday night, dropping an elimination game to Virginia Commonwealth by a score of 14-9.
The Rams scored three runs in the second inning and four in both the third and seventh innings. It was enough to bury the Tigers, a team that had scored 16 runs in a victory against George Mason earlier in the afternoon.
First baseman Brent Mikionis and third baseman Joey Cujas led the Rams’ attack, each hitting a home run and two singles. The duo accounted for driving home eight of the Rams’ 14 runs. As a team, VCU logged 45 hits in its first three tournament games, including 17 against Towson.
Sophomore right fielder Dominic Fratantuono led the Tigers’ offense, hitting two home runs and driving-in four of Towson’s nine runs of the game.
Left hander pitcher Kyle Paul started the game for Towson, but surrendered six runs in 2.2 innings to take the loss. Freshman pitcher Nick Cioffi kept Towson in contention through the next four innings, in addition to also making an appearance earlier in the afternoon against George Mason. Cioffi gave up four more runs in the seventh inning before he was relieved by Tyler Austin, who allowed three runs, all from Cujas’ home run.
Pitcher Kyle Haynes earned the win for the Rams, giving up eight runs, nine hits, three walks and striking out six batters. He threw 154 pitches in 8.2 innings.
Towson actually took the first lead of the game, when Fratantuono homered with Zach Fisher and Brendan Butler on base. The three-run homer marked the third time in as many tournament games that Towson scored runs in the first-inning.
The Rams tied the game with one swing in the bottom of the second inning, with a three-run home run by Mikionis. It was Mikionis’ seventh home run of the season, and his second of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
In the bottom of the third, VCU scored four runs to take a 7-3 lead. Shortstop Vimael Machin drove home one run on a single, leaving two on for Mikionis. Mikionis singled both runs home to lift his game’s runs batted in total to five, and then scored on a triple by catcher Taylor Perkins.
Fratantuono struck once more in the ensuing inning with his second home run of the game, a solo shot to bring the Tigers within three.
The 7-4 score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Rams loaded the bases with one out. Designated hitter Chris Ayers hit a high ground ball to third baseman Zach Fisher, who only had a play at first base for the out. A run scored in the process to extend the lead to four runs.
Then, three singles in a row by Machin, Mikionis and Perkins broke the game open and gave the Rams an 11-4 lead.
Cujas homered to put the Rams up by 10 in the ninth, and the Tigers responded. Towson scored five more in the bottom of the inning on an infield single by Pat Fitzgerald, a sacrifice fly by Ben Winter, and a three-run home run by Fisher, but it was all they could muster.