Towson takes down Hofstra baseball, clinches series win
The Towson University Tigers baseball team toppled the host Hofstra Pride, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon, April 13, at University Field in Hempstead, New York.
Starting pitcher Gavin Weyman led the way for Towson (7-26, 3-5 Colonial Athletic Association), yielding one run on three hits in seven innings of work.
“[Weyman] kept attacking us and making big pitches at big times,” said Hofstra head coach John Russo after the game.
Freshman started on the bump for the Pride (6-24, 1-7 CAA) and shut down Towson’s bats early, striking out the side in the first inning and retiring the Tigers in order again in the second frame.
“(Rue’s) been really good for us all year,” Russo said.
Towson’s bats woke up in the top of the third inning. Designated hitter Trent Gast-Woodard led off the frame with a single to left field and advanced to third on a well-executed hit-and-run with right fielder Tom Flacco, who singled to right field.
After Flacco stole second base, Javon Fields drove in Gast-Woodard and Flacco with a two-run double to right field.
Fields stole third during the next at-bat and scored when Rue committed a balk, putting Towson in front 3-0.
Fields also made a highlight-reel play in center field, making a sliding catch in the second inning to take a hit away from Hofstra shortstop Austin Gauthier.
Towson threatened to score again in the third following a Dirk Masters double, but Rue regained control after that, retiring eight straight batters.
“I really loved how he rebounded after that three-run inning,” Russo said.
Rue was charged with all five of Towson’s runs, allowing six hits and collecting a career-high seven strikeouts in seven innings pitched.
The Pride put a crooked number on the board in the fifth frame against Weyman. Left fielder Sean Rausch drew a two-out walk, stole second base and came around to score on an Austin Pollack single to left-center field.
Pollack had a productive day at the plate for the Pride, collecting three hits in his four at-bats.
Hofstra catcher Vito Friscia tried to generate some offense in the home half of the sixth inning, hitting a long fly ball out to left field, but Towson left fielder Isaiah Winikur made a leaping grab against the fence, robbing Friscia of an extra-base hit.
The Tigers padded their lead in the next half inning. Senior catcher Trey Martinez hit a two-run home run off Rue to left field, putting Towson in front 5-1. The long ball was the first for Martinez since 2017.
Hofstra made one last push in the ninth inning off Towson reliever David Tiskevics. Gauthier drew a two-out walk, stole second base and scored on a Jimmy Joyce double off the left-center field fence, but pinch hitter Vinnie Costello struck out looking to end the contest.
“I thought Towson, bottom line, just outplayed us,” Russo said.
The Pride will look to avoid the sweep when they wrap up their three-game set with Towson on Sunday, April 14, at noon.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics