Fisher Powers Towson Past UNCW 13-11
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 23, 2013) – Third baseman Zach Fisher homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs to lead fourth-seeded Towson to a 13-11 victory over #1 UNCW on Thursday afternoon in the CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Tigers (27-28) will face either William & Mary or James Madison in the winners’ bracket at Noon on Friday, while UNCW (37-20) will play an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Fisher belted a grand slam in the sixth that put Towson ahead to stay and then added a two-run shot in the eighth that proved to be the difference in the game. He has three home runs in two games of the tournament after not hitting a homer during the regular season.
Also contributing to the 15-hit attack for the Tigers was shortstop Hunter Bennett, who was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Five other Towson players had a pair of hits, including Peter Bowles, who was 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI.
UNCW had 18 hits in the game, but stranded 15 runners on base. Second baseman Michael Bass was 3-for-4 with a pair of triples and two runs scored, Matt Keeler went 3-for-3 and scored three times and Corey Dick was 3-for-5. Outfielder Tyler Molinaro homered twice and drove in three.
UNCW jumped on the Tigers early with three runs on five hits in the first. Bass opened the frame with a triple off the fence in right and scored on a Terence Connelly groundout. Following a Luke Dunlap single, Molinaro launched his 10th homer of the year to dead center to give the Seahawks a 3-0 advantage.
Towson sent 10 batters to the plate and exploded for five runs on five hits in the fifth. Brendan Butler and Andrew Parker opened the frame with back-to-back singles and Bennett followed with a one-out RBI single. The Tigers loaded the bases and tied the contest at 3-3 on a run-scoring single by Pat Fitzgerald and a walk to Kurt Wertz. Bowles followed with another RBI single and a groundout by Dominic Fratantuono scored Fitzgerald to give Towson a two-run advantage.
UNCW responded in the bottom of the fifth by sending 10 batters to the dish and retaking the lead. The Seahawks loaded the bases with none out and tied the contest on a sacrifice fly by Andy Austin and a Bass single up the middle. Connelly and Dunlap followed with back-to-back RBI singles to put the Seahawks ahead 7-5.
Towson opened the sixth with back-to-back walks and a well-executed bunt by Bennett loaded the bases with nobody out. That set the stage for Fisher, who belted a grand slam over the fence in right to put the Tigers back on top, 9-7.
Back-to-back doubles down the line by Keeler and Drew Farber pulled UNCW within one in the bottom of the sixth, but Towson’s Parker smashed a solo homer to left in the top of the seventh that made it 10-8.
The Tigers used the long ball to extend their lead to 13-8 in the eighth. Fisher lined a two-run shot off the scoreboard in right and Bowles hit a solo shot to left.
UNCW trimmed the margin to 13-9 in the eighth and nearly completed the rally in the ninth. Molinaro hit a one-out homer and back-to-back doubles by Ryan LaGrange and Corey Dick made it 13-11. A walk brought the winning run to the plate, but the Tigers turned their nation’s leading 76th double play to end the contest.
Kyle Paul (2-4), the fourth of six Towson pitchers, earned the win while Paul Beers recorded his first save of the season after inducing the double play. Reliever Jack Lane (2-2) took the loss for UNCW.