THIBODAUX, La. – Off to their best start since 2004, Coach Mike Gottlieb and the Towson University baseball team will visit Nicholls State University this weekend for a three-game series at Didier Field against the Colonels.
The Tigers (3-0) and the Colonels (3-1) will play single games on Friday at 1:00 p.m. (CST), on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. (CST) and Sunday (12 noon CST). This marks the second weekend in a row that the Tigers will be playing a three-game series in Louisiana. Last weekend, the Tigers opened the season with a three-game sweep at McNeese State.
“We played well in all phases of the game at McNeese State last week,” said Coach Gottlieb, who started his 26th season as the Tigers’ coach. “Last season, we had so many freshmen and sophomores in the lineup that we didn’t know what to expect. Now, it seems like we have a team of upperclassmen. That experience really helped us last week and I hope we can keep it going at Nicholls State.”
After opening the season with a 12-5 win over the Cowboys last Friday night, the Tigers pulled out a 10-9 win over McNeese State on Saturday, a 15-inning contest that was the second longest game in school history. On Sunday, the Tigers completed the sweep with an 8-1 victory over McNeese State.
The Tigers received outstanding pitching all weekend as the Tiger staff compiled a 1.91 E.R.A. In 33 innings of work, Tiger pitchers walked seven and had 24 strikeouts. Senior righthander Mike Volpe and junior righthander Brandon Gonnella both earned victories in starting roles. In the opener, Volpe pitched six innings and allowed one unearned run and two hits. In the series finale, Gonnella pitched six shutout innings and gave up only two hits. He had four strikeouts and no walks.
Junior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono was the Tigers’ top hitter in the series. He batted .429 with a double, a home run and nine runs batted in. He hit the first grand slam of his career in the opener. Fratantuono was named as the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week.
Sophomore Brendan Butler is the Tigers’ second-leading hitter. He is batting .412 with two doubles and three RBI’s. Third baseman Zach Fisher, a graduate student who earned Capital One Academic All-America® third team honors last year, is a very productive .313 hitter. He has scored five runs and he five RBI’s in three games.
Junior outfielder Kurt Wertz is off to a great start. He is batting .267 with a triple, two home runs and five RBI’s.
After this weekend, the Tigers are scheduled to visit Duke University for a three-game series at the Durham Bulls Park on the weekend of March 1-3, 2013.