Towson Tops Mason, 16-8
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 24, 2012) - Freshman Brendan Butler went 3-for-3 and scored four times and sophomore Zach Fisher was 3-for-6 with two RBI's as sixth-seeded Towson defeated #4 George Mason 16-8 Thursday morning in the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Tigers (27-30) will be back in action at 8:30 p.m. tonight against the lowest-seeded one-loss team. The Patriots (33-24) were eliminated from the tournament with the loss.
Along with Butler and Fisher, Towson got three RBI's apiece from catcher Andrew Parker, second baseman Pat Fitzgerald and outfielder Ben Winter. The Tigers' 18 runs were the most in a CAA Tournament game since 2008. Junior All-CAA pitcher Michael Trionfo (11-3) recorded his league-leading 11th win of the year for Towson after giving up three runs over 5.2 innings.
Mason had 18 hits in the game, but left nine men on base and grounded into four double plays. Senior Zack Helgeson was 2-for-3 with a pair of homers and four RBI's, while Brig Tison, Duncan Satherlie and Jake Leonardo each went 3-for-5. In two tournament games, Helgeson hit three home runs and drove in eight.
Towson, which suffered a tough 8-7, 12-inning loss to Delaware late last night, showed no ill effects despite the 10 a.m. start. In the bottom of the first, the Tigers loaded the bases on two walks and a single before Parker delivered a three-run double down the left-field line for a quick 3-0 advantage.
Mason got on the board in the second when Helgeson smacked a homer to dead center to cut the gap to 3-1. However, Towson pushed the lead to 5-1 in the third on Fitzgerald's two-run double to the gap in right-center.
Towson extended its margin in the fourth. Brandon Gonnella drew a one-out walk, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Zach Fisher's single. The Tigers moved on top 7-1 when Dominic Fratantuono's single plated Fisher.
The Patriots battled back in the top of the sixth. With two on and two out, Josh Leemhuis delivered an RBI single to right and Leonardo followed with a run-scoring double into the left-field corner that made it 7-3. Towson escaped further damage when reliever Mike Volpe came out of the bullpen to fan Chris Cook.
The Tigers blew the game open in bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on only three hits. Fisher lined an RBI triple to the gap in left-center that plated Gonnella, and he later scored on Kurt Wertz' single. With the bases loaded and one out, Fitzgerald walked to force across a run and another scored on Winter's sacrifice fly. Towson increased the lead to 12-4 when Parker came home from third while a runner was caught stealing at second.
Mason put four runs on the board in the seventh, with Helgeson blasting a three-run homer - his 15th of the season - to left-center. Towson answered with four runs in the bottom of the eighth with Winter's two-run single being the key blow.