Towson completes sweep of JMU
Second baseman Pat Fitzgerald’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th lifted Towson to a 5-4 win over James Madison to complete a Colonial Athletic Association baseball sweep on Saturday afternoon at John B. Schuerholz Park.
TU improved to 26-29 overall and clinched the final available spot in the six-team CAA Championship with a 15-15 league mark. JMU finished the season with six straight losses to fall to 16-35-2 overall and 10-20 in the CAA for a 10th-place standing. It was Towson’s first three-game sweep of JMU since 1992.
The Dukes carried a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Kurtis Voytell entered as a pinch hitter and smacked his first home run at Towson to tie the game and send it to the extra session.
JMU picked up a pair of walks in the 10th but couldn’t change the score. Singles by left fielder Kurt Wertz and right fielder Dominic Fratantuono put runners on the corners with one out in the 10th for Towson. Catcher Andrew Parker was walked intentionally to set up the force play at home. Fitzgerald connected on the second pitch he saw for a single to left field for the game winner to send the Tigers into the tournament.
After throwing eight innings and earning the victory in Thursday’s opener, Michael Trionfo entered in relief in a must-win game for Towson. He limited the Dukes to one hit in 2 1/3 innings to set a Towson record with his 10th win (10-3) of the season.
Freshman Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) took the loss (3-5) for JMU after allowing two runs on four hits in three innings of relief. Freshman Ben Garner (Burke, Va./Paul VI) started and allowed three runs in six innings.
Wertz was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Third baseman Zach Fisher was the only other Tiger with multiple hits in a 12-hit effort.
It was a game of missed opportunities for the Dukes with 14 hits and 15 runners stranded on the bases. In his final game in purple and gold, senior designated hitter Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) smacked his team-leading seventh home run of the season. He also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two walks. Scott hit .455 in the series with two home runs and a .625 on-base percentage.
Junior right fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) had three hits with a pair of doubles. He finished the season with a team-best .360 average and hit four doubles in the weekend set. Junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) went 3-for-4 for the Dukes. Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) had two hits apiece.
JMU grabbed its first lead with a three-run seventh inning thanks to Scott’s two-run home run after a McFarland single along with an RBI from junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) on a squeeze bunt play.
That gave the Dukes a 4-2 lead with the Tigers gaining one back in the bottom of the seventh on Fisher’s RBI infield single. The score stayed at 4-3 until Voytell’s pinch hit shot in the ninth.
Towson claimed the early lead in the game on a two-run home run by Wertz in the first. JMU’s other run came in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Shaban.