Tigers fall to Lancers in home opener
Towson lost its home opener Tuesday afternoon at John B. Schuerholz Park to Longwood University 3-2.
The loss marks a two-game losing streaking for the Tigers (6-4). Towson also had just one day of rest after traveling back from North Carolina where it took two of three games from the Duke Blue Devils.
“It’s nice having a day off after a long road series,” junior shortstop Hunter Bennett said. “You don’t get many days off when you start mid-week games so any rest is good. We were a little sluggish today but we’ll bounce back for conference play this weekend.”
The Lancers (5-5) took control of the game early.
In the third inning, centerfielder Colton Konvicka tripled to left field. Konvicka then stole home after a wild pitch from freshman pitcher Kevin Ross.
Towson threatened to take the lead in the top of the fourth inning when junior outfielder Kurt Wertz singled through the right side to lead off the inning.
Sophomore right fielder Peter Bowles followed with a single, this time through the left side. Wertz then advanced to third and Bowles advanced to second after senior designated hitter Kurtis Voytell hit a sacrifice bunt.
Wertz got caught out at home on the next at batter after Bennett hit a fielder’s choice.
Junior third baseman Pat Fitzgerald ground out to first to end the threat.
Longwood added to its lead in the top of the fifth inning when leftfielder Brandon Delk hit a solo home run to left center field off junior pitcher Nik Nowottnick.
The Tigers did not stay down long.
Sophomore first baseman Brendan Butler led off the inning with his first home run of the season to cut the Lancers’ lead in half. It was Butler’s second home run of his career.
After Wertz popped up for the first out of the inning, Bowles hit his first home run of the season and third of his career to tie the game at two a piece.
Longwood would quickly regain the lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Designated hitter Justin Lacy, who moved to first base during Towson’s run in the sixth inning, led off the inning with a double to right center. Lacy advanced to third base after Delk grounded out. Konvicka drove in Lacy with a single to third base.
The Lancers had a chance to add to their lead, but stranded three runners on base after Konvicka was called out at third to end the inning.
“We were still pretty confident after they took the lead because we never feel like we’re out of the game,” Bennett said. “Somehow, we always feel like we’ll pull it out.”
Despite the team’s confidence, the Tigers would fail to get a runner on base in their final three innings as the Lancers held on to edge out a road victory.
Wednesday’s home game against UMBC was rescheduled to March 20 due to impending weather conditions.
The Tigers will take the field again at home Friday when they open conference play against Colonial Athletic Association rival Delaware.
The first pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.