BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Freshman lefthander Bruce Zimmermann and senior lefthander Kyle Paul combined to pitch a five-hitter as the Tigers (6-2) won its third straight game,an 8-2 victory over Albany (1-5) in the second round of the Campbell University Classic at Jim Perry Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Zimmerman improved to 2-0 on the season by holding Albany to one run on four hits over six innings of work. He walked three and struck out five. Paul gave up one run on one hit with one walk and one strikeout as he earned his second save of the season.
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Zach Fisher led off with a walk and senior Brandon Gonnella was hit by a pitch with one out. Senior Kurt Wertz snapped out of an 0-for-14 slump with a double to left field, scoring Fisher with the first run of the game. When senior Dominic Fratantuono drew a walk, the Tigers had the bases loaded. Senior Peter Bowles gave Towson a 2-0 advantage when he singled to center field. Junior Brendan Butler was then hit by a pitch, driving in another run. However, Hunter Bennett struck out and Brady Policelli was retired on a fly ball to left field.
In the third inning, Albany got on the scoreboard. With two outs, Brian Bullard doubled and scored on a single by Evan Harasta.
Towson added two more runs in the bottom of the third. Fratantuono singled to right and Bowles drew a walk. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Butler hit a two-run double down the left field line, extending the Tigers’ lead to 5-1.
In the fourth inning, the Tigers added two more runs. With one out, Gonnella singled to center. After Wertz was retired on a fly ball to centerfield, Franantuono doubled to left center, scoring Gonnella. Bowles’ RBI single to left gave the Tigers a 7-1 lead. A walk to Butler loaded the bases before Bennett grounded out to end the threat.
After the Great Danes cut their deficit to 7-2 in the seventh inning, the Tigers closed out the scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning when Wertz hit an RBI triple.
Paul preserved the lead by retiring the last six Albany hitters he faced.
Bowles led the Tigers’ nine-hit attack with three hits and two RBI’s. Wertz added two hits and drove in two runs while Fratantuono with two hits and two runs scored.
The Tigers close out play in the Campbell Classic on Sunday when they face host Campbell at 3:00 p.m.