Midshipmen rally to sink Tigers 5-3
Towson dropped its seventh consecutive game Wednesday afternoon at the hands of the Navy Midshipmen 5-3 at John B. Schuerholz Park.
The Tigers (13-15, 5-4 Colonial Athletic Association) blew a 3-1 lead after the first inning to the Midshipmen (16-13) who have now won 10 of their last 12 games.
“They were coming in hot, we were coming in cold,” Head Coach Mike Gottlieb said. “We had many opportunities the whole game. We didn’t get a key hit with a man in scoring position after the first inning.”
Towson, which has already suffered injuries to its pitching rotation, faced injuries with its fielding Wednesday.
Junior third baseman Mike Draper is out with a shoulder injury and senior starting catcher Andrew Parker was dealing with a sore arm.
Graduate catcher/infielder Zach Fisher took over as catcher for the Tigers.
Sophomore first baseman Brendon Butler moved to third base while sophomore right fielder Peter Bowles moved to third and sophomore Richie Blosser moved to left field. The changes in positions were made because the team did not want to risk Parker injuring his arm even more, according to Gottlieb.
The changes played a factor in the outcome of the game as the Tigers committed four errors, while the Midshipmen did not record an error.
Scoring started early when Navy took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after designated hitter Dave Milanes hit a Runner Batted In single that allowed leftfielder Greg Dupell to score.
Towson responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs, all with two outs. It was the only inning that the Tigers would record a run.
With Parker on third and junior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono on second, Bowles lined a single down the third base line that sent Parker home and advanced Fratantuono to third.
During the next at bat, Bowles stole second and junior outfielder Brandon Gonnella earned a walk. Butler then hit an RBI single that scored both Fratantuono and Bowles to give Towson a 3-1 lead. In the next at bat, Blosser grounded out to end the inning.
Navy cut the lead to one in the second inning after center fielder Robert Currie hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed catcher Jack Keller to score from third.
The Midshipmen regained the lead in the top of the third after holding the Tigers scoreless in the bottom of the second.
After Dupell advanced to third on two errors, Milanes singled up the middle that allowed Dupell to tie the game.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded, shortstop David Wiedeman hit an RBI single to center field that drove in Milanes. In the next at bat, Currie struck out to end the inning.
Neither team scored again until the top of the ninth when the Midshipmen added a security run before retiring the Tigers in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Towson will remain home for the next four games, including a weekend series against CAA for William & Mary beginning Friday.
Gottlieb said he is hopeful that his team can turn things around while sticking to what they have been doing all season.
“Baseball is not like football or basketball where you can put up a different defense or different offense. You can’t put up a zone defense,” he said. “It’s pitcher and hitter. We need better at bats with men in scoring position. We haven’t had that lately.”
Friday’s first pitch is set for 3 p.m.