HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Sophomore rightfielder Peter Bowles had four hits, including two doubles, and drove in five runs to lead Towson University (9-7, 2-2) to a 14-4 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Hofstra University (4-12, 0-4) at University Field on Friday afternoon.
The Tigers, who matched their seasonal high with 16 base hits, overcame an early 1-0 deficit en route to the win.
Senior righthander Mike Volpe upped his record to 3-0 as he pitched six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Senior lefthander Mike Ryan threw two scoreless innings while freshman righthander Garrett Walther pitched one scoreless inning of relief.
Hofstra took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when T.J. Ehrsam reached base on an infield hit. After he reached second base on an infield out, he scored the first run of the game when All-American first baseman Jared Hammer singled to center field.
After being shut out on two hits over the first three innings, the Tigers came to life in the fourth against relief pitcher Brett Schreiber. With one out, Bowles doubled to left centerfield. One out later, he scored the tying run on an RBI single by junior leftfielder Kurt Wertz.
Towson grabbed a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning when the Tigers rallied with one out. Junior centerfielder Brandon Gonnella started the uprising when he doubled down the rightfield line. With two outs, junior Dominic Fratantuono was walked intentionally. Senior catcher Andrew Parker gave Towson a 2-1 lead when he singled to centerfield, driving in a run. With runners on second and third, Bowles lined a two-run single to centerfield, giving Towson a 4-1 advantage.
In the sixth inning, the Tigers extended their lead to 8-1 by scoring four more runs. Junior shortstop Hunter Bennett opened the inning with a single to right. With two outs and Bennett on third base, third baseman Zach Fisher reached base on catcher’s interference. A walk to Fratantuono loaded the bases. When Parker walked, Bennett scored to give Towson a 5-1 cushion. Bowles came through again with a two-run single as Towson grabbed a 7-1 advantage. With Bowles on first and Parker on third, the Tigers tried a double steal. While Bowles got caught in a rundown, Parker scored to make it an 8-1 game.
Hofstra came back to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth as shortstop Joe Perez drew a bases-loaded walk. Another run scored when Robbie Cafiero grounded out.
In the seventh, first baseman Brendan Butler led off with a single and went to second base on a wild pitch. After reaching third on an infield out, he scored on a passed ball to give the Tigers a 9-3 lead.
Freshman righthander Lee Lawler came on to pitch the seventh for Towson and gave up a run before being relieved by Ryan.
The Tigers broke the game open in the ninth inning when they rallied for five runs with two outs. Junior second baseman Pat Fitzgerald reached base when he was hit by a pitch. Gonnella doubled to right, driving in Fitzgerald to make it 10-4. After Fisher walked, Fratantuono doubled to rightfield, driving in two more runs. An RBI single by Parker gave Towson a 13-4 advantage. Butler capped off the rally with an RBI double to left.
While Bowles led the Tigers with four hits, Parker had three hits, scored three runs and had three RBI’s. Gonnella and Fisher had three hits each.
Hammer, the CAA’s Pre-Season Player of the Year, had two hits and one RBI to lead Hofstra.
The two CAA rivals will play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday at 12 noon.