BALTIMORE, Md. ľ Senior shortstop Gary Helmick went two-for-three and drove in two runs as the Tigers (25-21) earned their eighth win in the last ten games, a rain-shortened 5-1 non-conference victory over UMBC (9-31) at a soggy UMBC Stadium on Tuesday night.
The game was called after five innings due to wet grounds.
Helmick, the leading hitter in the Colonial Athletic Association with a .433 batting average, extended his hitting streak to 16 games with his 27th multi-hit game of the season. He has now hit safely in 43 of Towson’s 46 games this season.
UMBC took a 1-0 lead off junior righthander Zach Umberger in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Bryan Russo drew a walk. Russo moved to third base when Rich Conlon singled to right centerfield. Russo came around to score the Retrievers’ run on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Justin Lamborn.
In the top of the third inning, the Tigers rallied for four runs to grab a 4-1 lead. Junior catcher Max Kelly started the rally when he struck out and reached first base on a passed ball. After freshman rightfielder Ben Winter struck out, Helmick blasted his 16th home run over the leftfield fence, giving the Tigers a 2-1 advantage. Junior centerfielder Kevin Collins kept the inning alive when he drew a walk. Junior third baseman Steve Yarsinsky followed with an RBI double to leftfield, upping the lead to 3-1.
Senior first baseman Matt Collins capped off the rally when he doubled to left centerfield, scoring Yarsinsky to make it a 4-1 advantage. It was the 23rd double of the season for Matt Collins, setting a Towson single season record for doubles. He had shared the record with Jimmy Kittelberger, who had 22 doubles in 2001.
In the fifth inning, the Tigers increased their lead to 5-1 when Helmick doubled to left. He scored on an RBI single to centerfield by Yarsinsky.
Umberger, who allowed only one hit in four innings of work, picked up the win to even his record at 3-3. He walked two batters and had six strikeouts.
Senior righthander Josh Squatrito pitched a scoreless fifth inning as he allowed two hits and struck out three batters.
ĹZach pitched very well for us,” said Coach Mike Gottlieb, who earned his 550th career victory. “His curve ball was sharp and he was throwing strikes. It was a very good outing for him.”
Helmick and Yarsinsky led the Tigers with two hits each as Towson outhit the Retrievers, 6-3.
With the win over UMBC, the Tigers swept the season series from the Retrievers. In March, Towson edged UMBC by 5-4 at Schuerholz Park.
Towson has now beaten UMBC 11 times in a row, dating back to May 5, 2004.
The Tigers return to action on Wednesday evening with a non-league game at Maryland at 7:00 p.m.