Last Modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 9:00 AM
The brave souls sitting through all five hours of the McNeese-Towson baseball game Saturday got plenty of drama.
The home fans did not get the storybook ending, however, as Towson pushed across a run in the top of the 15th inning to escape with a 10-9 win.
McNeese (0-2) tied the score in the bottom of the eighth to send the game to extra innings, then scored twice in the 13th to keep the game going.
Towson (2-0) blew a lead three times but held on in the bottom of the 15th after taking the lead in the top of the inning when Zach Fisher led off with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Dominic Fratantuono.
Mike Ryan pitched three innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win for the Tigers. Steven O’Bryant took the loss for the Cowboys.
Towson scored a 7-5 lead on a three-run homer by Andrew Parker in the top of the fifth. The homer came off Cowboys reliever Jacob Williams, who then held the Tigers scoreless over the next four innings.
McNeese tied the score at 7-7 in the eighth on a single by pinch-hitter Michael Sullivan to score Phillip LeBleau.
Sam Peterson relieved Williams and gave up two hits in four innings of work. Towson scored two unearned runs in the 13th when Brandon Gonnella reached on an error and scored on a double by Brendan Butler. Butler scored on a single by Fratantuono.
The Cowboys responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Klouser doubled and scored on a throwing error that allowed Hans Ask to reach second. Ask scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Matt Williams. The Cowboys had runners on first and second with no outs, but Ryan retired the next three batters to escape the jam.
Towson left two runners stranded in the 14th before rallying for the winner an inning later.
“It is disappointing to lose, but offensively these guys battled back hard in a couple of tough situations and ended up keeping us in the game,” said Cowboys head coach Terry Burrows.
“Fifteen innings is a tough game to play. We give up two runs in the 13th and come back to score two more and had an opportunity to win it there. We showed grit. I am happy with a couple of guys that were on the mound — Peterson and Williams. After the home run, Williams threw the ball really well for four-plus innings and Sam threw great for four innings. Sam came in and competed. He came in some tough situations and got out of them. He is a tough kid and will do well for us.”
The Cowboys pounded out 20 hits.
“We battled back when we were down a couple times,” Burrows said. “We had an opportunity to win the game (in the ninth inning) when we had a safety squeeze that we bunted at. We missed, it was a bad pitch, and we got caught in the rundown.
“Some of the guys swing the bat well. Jackson Gooch had four hits, that was good to see from him. They just need to keep their head up and keep grinding. We have to play hard (Sunday) and I know they will.”