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TOWSON, Md. – The William & Mary baseball team dropped a back-and-forth game 13-7 at Towson in a Colonial Athletic Association series opener on Friday afternoon.
Towson rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the win. With the decision the Tribe falls to 12-14, 4-3 in CAA play, while the Tigers improve to 7-20, 2-5 in league action.
Junior Josh Smith led the Tribe with a 5-for-5 day. He finished with a pair of triples and was just a homer shy of the cycle for the Tribe. Seniors Willie Shaw, juniors Charley Gould and Ryan Hissey, and sophomore Tim Hoehn also collected multi-hit games for the Green and Gold.
William & Mary jumped on the board first with a two-out rally in the top of the second inning. Hoehn bolted a triple to the deepest part of the ballpark, before Shaw doubled down the right field line, putting the Tribe on the scoreboard. The two-out rally continued as Smith connected with the Green and Gold’s third straight extra base hit on a double, giving W&M a 2-0 lead.
Towson wasted little time, and came right back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second inning. Chris Henze led off the inning with a single, moving to second on a single from Mark Grunberg. After a sacrifice bunt, Richie Blosser doubled down the right field line, clearing the bases and tied the score at 2-2.
The Tigers took their first lead in bottom of the third inning with a run. Brady Policelli led of the inning by being hit by a pitch, before moving to second on a ground out. With two outs, Peter Bowels doubled down the left line, lifting TU to a 3-2 advantage.
W&M took the lead right back in the top of the fourth inning with three runs. Three straight hits from Hoehn, Shaw and Smith loaded the bases with nobody out. The next batter freshman Zach Newell, reached on fielder’s choice, which drove in Hoehn on a RBI, and Shaw, who came around to score on an errant throw to first. With two outs, Hissey belted a triple to the center field wall, which gave the Green and Gold a 5-3 advantage.
Towson cut the Tribe lead by one with a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Policelli hit a one-out home run over the right field wall, cutting the deficit to 5-4.
The Tigers tied the score with a run on a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Dyer and Blosser reached on back-to-back singles, before Ruszin walked, loading the bases. Policelli drew a four-pitch walk, tying the score. Freshman Charlie Fletcher came on in relief and recorded the final out of the inning, and escaped the bases load jam.
W&M retook the lead with a run in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, Smith singled up the middle starting the rally. After an out, freshman Cullen Large singled, before Hissey walked loading the bases. Gould followed with a roller up the middle, giving the College a 6-5 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Towson rallied again and took the lead for good with eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Grunberg sparked the rally with a single through the right side. He moved to second a sacrifice bunt, before moving to third on a wild pitch. Blosser followed with a bloop single to right field, tying the score.
The next batter, Ruzin doubled off the right field, scoring Blosser all the way from first base. Colin Gimblet connected on bases clearing double, before Butler followed with a double, giving the Tigers a 10-6 lead. The inning continued has A.J. Gallo hit a three run homer over the right field wall. The blast gave TU a 13-6 lead.
W&M added a run in the top of the ninth inning, but it was all the Tribe could muster in its final at-bat. Shaw started the rally with a two out walk, coming around to score on Smith’s second triple of the game. The run cut the final score to 13-7.
Senior Jason Inghram made the start, tossing 5.2 innings, but did not factor into the decision. He allowed five runs on eight hits, while striking out six. Fletcher, who got out of the bases loaded batter in the sixth, pitched to just one batter, who he retired. Senior Bryson Kauhaahaa was saddled with his second loss of the season. He allowed eight runs on eight hits.
The college and Tigers continue their three-game CAA series at 2 p.m. Saturday. The series finale is scheduled for first pitch 1 p.m. Sunday.