Towson Homers Four Times In 9-8 Win Over NU
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 22, 2013) - Fourth-seeded Towson smacked four home runs and held on for a 9-8 victory over #5 Northeastern in the first game of the 2013 CAA Baseball Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Tigers (26-28), who won their opening CAA Tournament game for the first time ever, advance to play top-seeded UNCW at Noon on Thursday. The Huskies (28-25) will be back in action at 7 p.m. tonight in an elimination game against the loser of this afternoon’s Delaware/James Madison contest.
Towson junior Dominic Fratantuono was 2-for-3, including a three-run homer in the seventh that gave the Tigers a 9-5 lead. Third baseman Zach Fisher went 3-for-5 with a double, solo homer and two runs scored, designated hitter Kurt Wertz was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and catcher Andrew Parker also belted a two-run shot.
Northeastern was led by shortstop Jason Vosler, who was 4-for-5 and scored four times. Outfielder Sean Lyons was 2-for-4 and drove in four runs, doubling his season RBI total. Aaron Barbosa, Michael Foster and John Puttress also had two hits apiece for the Huskies.
Mike Volpe (8-3) earned the victory for Towson despite allowing five runs on nine hits over 7.0 innings. He struck out a career-high 11 batters and walked only one. Kyle Paul picked up his first save by recording three straight outs after entering the game with the bases loaded in the ninth. NU’s Nick Berger (6-6) gave up six runs on eight hits over 4.1 frames and took the loss.
Towson jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first when Fisher led off with a home run over the right-field fence. It was his first homer since the 2012 CAA Tournament.
Northeastern pulled even in the top of the second. Vosler doubled to left-center to start the frame and scored on Puttress’ one-out line drive that ricocheted off Volpe and rolled into center.
The Huskies moved ahead in the third as outfielder Brad Burcroff launched his fourth home run of the season to right-center. Northeastern tacked on two more in the fourth. Volser and Foster led off with back-to-back singles and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Puttress. Lyons followed with a grounder up the middle that plated both runners and made it 4-1.
The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Fratantuono tripled off the wall in center and scored on Brandon Gonnella’s double into the left-field corner. One out later, Parker blasted a two-run homer to left that tied the contest at 4-4.
Towson regained the lead in the fifth when Fisher doubled down the line and Wertz homered to left to make it 6-4. It was the team-leading 12th homer of the season for the Tigers’ junior. Northeastern closed the gap to 6-5 in the sixth as Vosler singled and scored on a Lyons’ groundout.
The Tigers took their biggest lead of the afternoon on Fratantuono’s three-run blast to right in the seventh. NU pulled within 9-6 in the eighth when Lyons’ infield single plated Vosler.
A Huskies’ rally came up just short in the ninth. NU loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Will Dougherty and Barbosa and a walk to Burcroff. Paul came out of the Tigers’ bullpen and retired Fonseca on a liner to center that allowed Dougherty to score. After an RBI groundout by Vosler, Paul got Foster to fly out to left to end the game.