Last place Towson Baseball takes down first place Elon in first game of weekend series
By: Jake Shindel, Sports Editor
Towson and Elon might be on opposite sides of the Colonial Athletic Association Baseball standings, but that didn’t stop Towson (8-20, 2-8 in conference) from destroying the top-seeded Elon Phoenix (17-9, 8-2 in conference) in a Friday afternoon game at Schuerholz Park.
Towson defeated Elon 6-1 with solid efforts on both the offensive and defensive sides. Pitching-wise, Towson only used two pitchers. On the offensive side, Towson had nine hits, suitable for a .273 batting average, but the team hit three home runs to give them the edge.
“[The win] shows you what you’re capable of doing,” Head Coach Matt Tyner said. “When they come out and play baseball the way they’re capable of doing it, this team can get there. Maybe, just maybe, this one will be the catalyst to catapult this team into some great things.”
The Towson bats came alive in the bottom of the second inning. After Phoenix pitcher Shea Sprague recorded three straight outs in the first inning, he gave up three runs in the second, which tied the most runs Elon has given up during its four-game winning streak.
Sprague was named to the Preseason All-CAA Baseball team but surrendered five earned runs and six hits across six innings to a Towson team with the lowest batting average in the CAA this season.
“Sprague is really, really good,” Tyner said. “He’s able to change speeds, he goes left-right left-right left-right. Unbelievable. With him throwing like that, we had to earn everything we got today.”
The scoring began for Towson with a solo shot by catcher Brian Heckelman. Right fielder Jeremy Wagner came up next and laid a perfect bunt down the third-base line. A line drive by left fielder Elijah Dickerson advanced Wagner to second, and then both scored on a double by DH Harper Sy to give Towson a 3-0 lead.
Justin Rebok gave Towson five scoreless innings on the mound before Head Coach Matt Tyner brought in reliever Max Simpson. Rebok recorded four strikeouts for Towson, allowing only two hits.
“If you can get through the opening game of a series with two arms, I couldn’t be happier,” Tyner said. “They did a great job of piggy-backing one another and giving us a great start and a great lead-in to tomorrow.”
Simpson’s first inning was troublesome, but Towson escaped the inning allowing just one run and stranding two on the bases.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers tacked on two more runs when Jeremy Wagner’s hit bounced off the top of the right field fence and the umpire ruled it was a two-run home run. Towson took a 5-1 lead.
The team’s reliance on the deep ball continued into the eighth inning as first baseman Reyce Curnane’s shot to right field exited Schuerholz park. Towson’s three home runs tied a season-high.
Towson’s win comes despite the team not being 100% healthy. Catcher John Cristino has missed time lately, as has infielder Jake Lysaght.
“We have not had an opportunity to put the nine best together yet. So when that happens, I pity Hofstra. I think we’ll be ready for them.
Towson Baseball has two more games on Saturday and Sunday before hosting UMBC for a single game on Tuesday.