Towson baseball falls to county rival UMBC

By Tommy Pelle, contributing writer

In front of a large crowd of Towson students enjoying the weather, the Tigers looked to build on their series win over the weekend as they faced off against intra-county rivals UMBC.

With 20 miles on I-695 separating these two teams, they are quite familiar with each other. In the 2022-23 season, Towson swept the season series versus UMBC, scoring 32 runs against the Retrievers in just two games. 

It would be a role reversal for the 2024 Tigers, as the Retrievers would do most of the scoring, early and often, as the Tigers lose 12-4.

“Couldn’t throw it into the ocean if we held a pail of water in front of them,” said head coach Matt Tyner, referring to his pitching staff. 

Towson’s starting pitcher Justin Rebok faced struggles early, giving up six earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work. However, relief pitcher Jake Michel was able to give the Tigers 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief to keep the deficit to six runs. 

“The effort is there; it’s just the execution wasn’t,” said Tyner. “At this level, you have to be able to land a breaking ball, and you got to control your change-up. You got to have more than one pitch you can throw for a strike, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that today.”

The Tigers would cross the plate for the first time in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from designated hitter Jack Lawrence. A throwing error from UMBC pitcher Logan Wiley and a sacrifice bunt from Tigers second baseman Jordan Peyton cut the Retriever’s lead to three. 

UMBC would respond in the top of the sixth inning, tacking on another two runs against Towson reliever Matt Lynch to make it an 8-3 ballgame.

Towson would threaten in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs thanks to a catcher’s interference call against UMBC catcher Nick Pratt. However, Tigers catcher Brian Heckelman would pop up to end the inning.

“We got to do a better job of not getting tight when we see runners in scoring position,” said Tyner. “The swing changes, the mental approach changes and we get ourselves out.”

The Retrievers would continue to add to their lead, plating one more run in the eighth and three more runs in the top of the ninth to make it a 12-4 ballgame. With the bases loaded, Tiger reliever Avery Heiple would come in and throw six pitches to get the last two outs of the ninth inning.

As Towson’s record falls to 3-12, they will host Niagra University for a three-game series, with the first pitch on Friday, March 15 at 3 p.m.


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