HARRISONBURG, Va. - Weather delays have taken their toll on the opening day of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament at Veterans' Memorial Park. At 1:10 p.m., the game between No. 4 George Mason and No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth went into a weather delay. The Patriots and the Rams were tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
CAA officials are hoping to resume the game at 6:00 p.m. with Towson and Delaware hoping to start around 8:30 p.m.
When the sixth-seeded Tiger baseball team faces No. 3 Delaware in the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, the Tigers will be playing a long-time rival. Towson and Delaware have played 108 times in a series that Delaware leads by a 74-34 margin.
Although UD has won 74 of 108 games between the teams, the series has been much more competitive in recent years. In fact, Towson has won 14 of the last 25 meetings between the teams.
The Tigers, who won two of three games from the Blue Hens this season, will be playing their 14th post-season game against Delaware.
The schools have been conference rivals in three different leagues, the East Coast Conference, the America East Conference and the CAA. Delaware owns a 8-5 lead in post-season meetings.
In 1988, Towson won its first ECC championship by beating the Blue Hens twice. After a 2-1 win in the second round, the Tigers beat Delaware in the championship game, 21-9.
In 1991, the Tigers handed Delaware a 25-5 loss en route to their second ECC title.
Towson and Delaware met for the America East championship in 1999 and 2001. In 1999, the Blue Hens beat Towson at Blue Rocks Park, 5-2 and 6-3, winning the title. In 2001, Delaware blanked Towson in the finals, 7-0.
Since the teams joined the CAA in 2002, they have played one post-season game. In 2005, Towson blanked Delaware, 5-0.
The Tigers, who had to sweep a three-game sweeps from James Madison University to earn a berth in the CAA Tournament, enter the CAA Tournament with a 26-29 overall record. Towson tied for fifth place in the CAA with Virginia Commonwealth. Both teams were 15-15 in the CAA but VCU owned the tie-breaker.
Towson comes into the CAA Tournament with a three-game winning streak. Sophomore Brandon Gonnella (right) is one of the team's hottest hitters. Since he was inserted into the leadoff spot seven games ago, he is batting .441 with nine runs scored. For the season, he has raised his batting average to .280 and he ranks among the team leaders with 26 runs scored.
Coach Mike Gottlieb is hoping that the Tigers continue their hot hitting from the weekend. In the three-game sweep, Towson batted .363 as a team and scored 24 runs.
On the season, the Tigers have a .265 team batting average, 10th in the CAA.
When the Tigers face Delaware, sophomore righthander Chris Acker will be their starting pitcher. Acker has pitched primarily in relief this year. He has made 20 appearances and started four times. He is 4-4 on the season with three saves and a 4.75 E.R.A.