WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Making the first appearance of his college career, freshman lefthander Bruce Zimmermann pitched five shutout innings as the Tigers (3-0) completed a three-game sweep at the Wake Forest Tournament, handing Georgetown a 9-1 loss at Wake Forest Baseball Park on Monday morning
In his five innings of work, Zimmermann allowed only three base hits, He walked one and had three strikeouts. The Loyola Blakefield product was replaced by sophomore righthander Garrett Walther in the sixth inning. Walther was even more impressive as he pitched three perfect innings while striking out three. The Hoyas finally scored a run in the ninth inning against senior lefthander Kyle Paul.
The win over Georgetown enabled the Tigers to finish the Wake Forest Tournament with a perfect 3-0 record. Towson beat Wake Forest on Saturday, 5-4. Then, they handed Marshall an 8-3 loss on Sunday.
In his debut, Zimmermann shut out the Hoyas through five innings and never had more than one baserunner in an inning. However, junior righthander Will Brown of Georgetown was equally effective and the game was scoreless entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one out in the fifth, senior second baseman Pat Fitzgerald singled up the middle. Senior centerfielder Brandon Gonnella followed with a single to right centerfield, sending Fitzgerald to third base. Senior leftfielder Kurt Wertz lined a double to right center, driving in both runners to give Towson a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Zimmermann turned the game over to Walther. Walther was very effective, protecting the lead by pitching three perfect innings.
The Tigers gave Walther some more offensive support in the sixth inning. Freshman third baseman Brady Policelli led off with a single. A walk to shortstop Hunter Bennett and a bunt single by senior catcher Zach Fisher loaded the bases with no outs. An infield single by Fitzgerald scored Policelli to give Towson a 3-0 lead. When Gonnella reached on an infield error, Bennett scored to make it 4-0. With one out, Wertz grounded out to second base, enabling Fisher to score, upping the lead to 5-0.
Towson broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gonnella led off with a double. With two outs, first baseman Brendan Butler drew a walk. Junior Peter Bowles followed with an RBI single to left, scoring Gonnella to make it a 6-0 lead. When Policelli lined a two-run double to left, two more runs scored and Towson owned an 8-0 lead. Bennett and Fisher followed with back-to-back walks. When Fitzgerald also drew a walk, the Tigers owned a 9-0 lead. Gonnella ended the four-run inning when he grounded out.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Hoyas finally scored against Paul, Towson’s third pitcher of the game. Shortstop Ryan Busch led off the inning by drawing a walk. When third baseman Eric Webber doubled, the Hoyas had two runners in scoring position. After Paul retired Nick Collins on a fly ball to left, Christian Venditti grounded out to shortstop as Busch scored the Hoyas’ only run. Steve Anderson ended the game when he hit a fly ball to right.
The Tigers outhit the Hoyas by a 12-4 margin. Fitzgerald led the Tigers with four hits while Gonnella, Bowles and Policelli each had two hits. Wertz led Towson with three runs batted in.
The Tigers return to action on Friday night when they open a three-game series against Cal State Bakersfield.