TOWSON, Md. – Senior rightfielder Dominic Fratantuono hit a triple and a two-run home run while driving in five runs to lead the Tigers (13-8) to their fourth win in its last five games, a 13-1 victory over Coppin State University (6-13) at chilly John B. Schuerholz Park on Thursday afternoon.
Fratantuono led the Tigers’ 10-hit attack, hitting a two-run homer in the second inning and bases-loaded triple in the fifth inning. His three-run triple gave Towson a 13-0 lead.
Sophomore righthander Joe Patton and four relief pitchers combined to pitch a three-hitter against Coppin State. Patton pitched the first four innings and did not allow a hit. He walked one and struck out five. Freshman lefthander Matt Golczewski pitched two shutout innings and kept the no-hitter intact.
Junior righthander Christian Duclos pitched the seventh inning and surrendered one-out single to Will Brown. After freshman Kevin Ross pitched a perfect eighth inning, junior David Sapp came on to pitch the ninth inning. The Eagles broke up the shutout in the ninth inning when Dalton Cozart singled with two outs and went to second base on a wild pitch. An RBI single by Jack Kraft plated the Eagles’ lone run of the game. Sapp nailed down the win when Miranda Bryant grounded out to first base.
The Tigers grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as they took advantage of Yahya Muhammad’s control problems. Graduate student Zach Fisher led off by drawing a walk. When senior centerfielder Brandon Gonnella and Fratantuono also walked, the Tigers had the bases loaded with no outs. After senior Kurt Wertz struck out, junior first baseman Peter Bowles cleared the bases with a double to deep right centerfield, giving Towson a 3-0 advantage. Bowles went to third base when Brendan Butler was retired on a fly ball. Moments later, he scored on a passed ball to up the lead to 4-0.
After Muhammad walked senior Pat Fitzgerald to lead off the second inning, he was relieved by sophomore righthander Will Grebenstein. Senior Hunter Bennett reached on an error to give the Tigers two runners on base. When Fisher sacrificed the runners over, the Tigers had two runners in scoring position. A sacrifice fly by Gonnella scored Fitzgerald from third base to up the lead to 5-0.
Moments later, Fratantuono blasted a long home run over the left centerfield fence to give Towson a 7-0 advantage. It was his second homer of the season.
In the fourth inning, Fisher led off with a double down the left field line. Gonnella singled to centerfield, scoring Fisher for an 8-0 lead. After Gonnella reached third base on a wild pitch, Wertz drew a walk. With runners on first and third Bowles doubled down the left field line as Gonnella scored. When Butler hit a sacrifice fly, the Tigers owned a 10-0 advantage.
In the fifth inning, Colin Dyer led off with a pinch-hit single. After Dyer stole second base, Bennett reached base when he was hit by a pitch. A walk to Brady Policelli loaded the bases with no outs. After Gonnella was retired on a pop fly, Fratantuono delivered a triple to deep right center field, clearing the bases as Towson took a 13-0 lead.
Tiger pitchers combined to hold Coppin State to one run on three hits. Tiger pitchers issued one walk and recorded 10 strikeouts. Ross struck out the side in the eighth inning.
While Fratantuono led the Tigers with two hits and five RBI’s, Bowles had two doubles and drove in four runs. Gonnella also had a pair of hits and drove in a pair of runs.
The Tigers, who are the defending Colonial Athletic Association champions, open their CAA schedule on Friday, March 28 when they host Hofstra in the opening game of a three-game series at Schuerholz Park.