WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Junior righthander Brett Koehler combined with senior righthander Jay McCarthy and junior righthander John Farrell to pitch a six-hitter as William and Mary (19-11, 7-5) posted an 8-2 Colonial Athletic Association victory over the Tigers (13-14, 7-5) in the third and deciding game of their three-game CAA weekend series at Plumeri Park on Sunday afternoon.
After the Tigers pulled out a 2-1 win in the series opener on Friday night, the Tribe evened the series with a 19-2 victory on Saturday.
In the series finale, the Tribe broke open a tight game in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring five runs to grab an 8-2 lead.
In the three-game series, Tribe pitching held the Tigers to a .172 team batting average. William and Mary outscored Towson by a 28-6 margin in the series. Tribe pitchers posted a 1.67 E.R.A. in the series. Tribe pitchers walked six batters and had 24 strikeouts in the series.
In the series finale, sophomore leftfielder Kurt Wertz gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead when he blasted a solo home run over the rightfield fence in the second inning. It was his second homer of the season.
In the bottom of the second, the Tribe rallied to tie the game against sophomore righthander Brandon Gonnella. Sophomore third baseman Ryan Lindemuth led off with a single to shortstop. Freshman designated hitter Josh Smith followed with a double to right. After freshman Josh Mason struck out, senior catcher Chris Forsten drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. After a walk to second baseman Kevin Nutter, Gonnella pitched out of the jam by retiring centerfielder Ryan Brown on a ground ball to shortstop.
The Tribe took a 2-1 lead in the third inning when senior Stephen Arcure led off by reaching on an error. With two outs, Smith’s RBI single scored Arcure with an unearned run, giving the Tribe the lead.
Freshman first baseman Michael Katz led off the fifth inning with a double to left. At that point, Gonnella was relieved by senior righthander Tyler Austin. Senior Tadd Bower drove in Katz when he greeted Austin with an RBI double. However, Austin worked his way out of the jam as the tribe took a 3-1 lead into the late innings.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Tigers made a strong bid to tie the game. With one out, Wertz reached base on an error. When freshman Peter Bowles singled to center, Wertz advanced to third base.
McCarthy came in to relieve Koehler and junior catcher Andrew Parker hit a sacrifice fly to score Wertz, pulling the Tigers to within 3-2. McCarthy pitched out of the inning by getting shortstop Hunter Bennett to ground out.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tribe broke the game open by scoring five runs. Smith had the biggest hit of the inning, a two-run single.
The Tribe outhit the Tigers by a 14-6 margin. Brown and Smith led the Tribe with three hits each. Smith went three-for-four and drove in three runs.
Koehler allowed one earned run on four hits in 6.1 innings. He didn’t walk anyone and had five strikeouts as he improved his record to 4-0.
Wertz led the Tigers with one hit and scored two runs.
The loss dropped the Tigers into a tie for third place in the CAA standings with William and Mary. UNC Wilmington leads the CAA with a 10-2 record (15-12 overall) while Hofstra (13-12, 6-3) is second. Towson (13-14, 7-5) and William and Mary (19-11, 7-5) are tied for third place.
The Tigers conclude a ten-game road trip on Wednesday with a non-conference game at George Washington.