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Baseball drops seventh straight game

8 May 2014 By Jesse Jones, Sports Editor No Comments

The last time Towson was to face the Maryland Terrapins in the Ripken Cup, the baseball gods did what they have done for much of the season to the Tigers: Prevent the Tigers from earning a win by causing a rain out — Towson has had 12 games cancelled this season due to inclement weather.

And in the early part of the afternoon on Wednesday, the rain came down again. But the rain let up and the Tigers got a chance to take a stab at the Terrapins at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

Despite the Tigers jumping out to an early 3-1 lead, the Terps slowly climbed their way back into the game before escaping with a 4-3 win and handing the Tigers their seventh straight loss.

“It’s fun playing them every year,” senior shortstop Pat Fitzgerald, who went 2-for-4, said of Maryland. “They’re a tough, competitive team and they really test us offensively and defensively.”

In the first and only meeting of the season between the teams, Maryland (30-19) got on the scoreboard first. With runners on first and second, senior infielder Blake Schmit hit an RBI single down the leftfield line to give the Terps a 1-0 advantage.

Both teams failed to cross home plate in the second inning, but Towson (20-24) came to life in the top of the third inning.

With senior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono on first and graduate catcher Zach Fisher on third, junior first baseman Peter Bowles singled to left field to drive in Fisher and tied the game at one. In the next at-bat, senior leftfielder Kurt Wertz Jr. came through with a two-run double to give Towson its first lead of the game at 3-1.

Redshirt freshman Matt Golzcewski held the Terps scoreless in the bottom-half of the inning, but Maryland tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. The Terps played small-ball in the half-inning and tied the game at three. Maryland would then take a 4-3 lead in the fifth before Golzcewski ended the inning.

Sophomore Lee Lawler and junior David Sapp pitched the rest of the game for Towson, holding Maryland to just two hits and no runs.

“They did an excellent job throwing strikes and keeping their hitters off balance,” Fitzgerald said of the entire pitching rotation. “They kept the game close to give us a chance to win.”

However, the Terps pitching staff also pitched a shutout the rest of the game, including retiring the side in the top of the ninth inning.

Towson will now return to John B. Schuerholz Park for its final three games of the season. The Tigers have been eliminated from making the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament with just a 2-12 CAA record, but there is still plenty to play for this weekend against rival Delaware.

Towson will be honoring eight seniors — Fisher, Fitzgerald, Fratantuono, Wertz, Hunter Bennett, Brandon Gonnella, Greg Baruka, and Kyle Paul — who all played important roles in last year’s CAA Championship.

“I think there’s a lot of us wanting to do well for our last series, especially for the seniors because it’s our last games ever,” Fitzgerald said. “I think we’re going to come out with a sense of urgency to win our last games to go out on a good note.”

The three-game series will start Friday and run through Sunday. The first pitches are set for 3 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m.

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