FROM UNC-WILMINGTON RELEASE
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Sophomore second baseman Gary Helmick homered, singled and scored three runs as Towson evened its weekend series at UNC Wilmington with a 6-5 win Saturday at Brooks Field.
The Tigers improved to 15-20 with the win overall and moved to 7-9 in the CAA. The Seahawks, meanwhile, dropped to 18-23 and 9-10.
Senior Matt Holly (3-0), who remained perfect on the season with the win, allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits and a walk over five innings. Freshman Zach Umberger picked up his first career save. The Tiger pitching staff recorded 16 ground ball outs on the game.
Senior third baseman Hans Falkenhan and junior outfielder Brian Conley each collected two hits on the afternoon for the Tigers.
Junior Jeff Hatcher was tagged with the loss to fall to 4-4 on the season. Hatcher, who has dropped three of his last four decisions, allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits in six innings.
Junior outfielder Jason Appel went 3-for-5 while juniors first baseman Daniel Hargrave and third baseman Nate Hall each had tow hits.
UNCW grabbed an early 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Appel singled with one out, stole second and scored on senior catcher Jonathan Batts' two-out single to leftcenter.
The Tigers plated two in the third, one earned, to take their first lead of the series. Helmick drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After a strike out, he moved to third on a throwing error by sophomore shortstop Steve Halford on Skellchock's routine ground ball. Falkenhan delivered a RBI single through the right side for the first run and senior catcher Ryan Schreiter plated the second with a ground out to third later in the inning.
Towson extended its lead to 4-1 with two in the fourth on three hits, a hit batter and an error. With the bases loaded and one out, Skellchock lined a single to left to score one run and junior outfielder Mark Carver mishandled the ball to allow the second to score on the same play.
The Seahawks loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the inning, but junior designated hitter Shane French grounded into a double play that scored one to make it 4-2, and UNCW lost its momentum.
In the fifth, Halford lifted a fly ball to center to score red-shirt freshman second baseman Matt Holt, who reached base on a throwing error by Falkenhan, to make it a 4-3 game.
Towson answered that run in the top of the fifth on Helmick first home run of the season to lead off the inning.
The Tigers added what would prove to be the winning run with two out in the ninth off junior reliever Larry Salefsky. The 6-7 righthander retired the first batters, but surrendered a single to Conley to keep the inning going. Schreiter then lined a double off the centerfield wall to score Conley from first to make it 6-3.
UNCW would rally in the ninth loading the bases again with none out. Holt struck out looking for the first out, but Appel followed with a single to right to narrow the deficit to 6-4. Halford trimmed it to 6-5 with a RBI ground out one batter later.
The series concludes on Sunday with a 2 p.m. start.