Baseball: Catonsville rallies past visiting Towson, 7-5

Catonsville stretched its winning streak to four by coming back twice against visiting Towson in a 7-5 victory at windy Catonsville on Tuesday afternoon.

The Comets spotted the Generals a three-run lead in the first inning, but rallied to take a 4-3 lead after four innings.

The Generals regained the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth before the Comets ended the suspense with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

The winning rally against Towson reliever Kyle Kerschner started when freshman Danny Bruno reached on an error.

After he was forced out by John Klein, Klein was removed for pinch runner Andre McInnis and he advanced to second on a walk by sophomore Scott Beautz (2-for-2).

Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and one out Luke Land walked to load the bases.

But, on ball four to Land, the Generals tried to pick off McInnis at third base and the ball went into left field and he raced home to tie the game at 5-5.

Beautz scored when pinch hitter Nathan Carpenter reached on an error for a 6-5 lead and Land later scored a tack-on run on a wild pitch.

"We can do 100 things correctly, but it just takes one mistake to wash those all away," said Towson coach Brad Eastham, whose squad dropped to 1-4-1.

They tied Dulaney in a game suspended by darkness and will finish on April 21.

Catonsville (4-1) plays next at Dulaney on April 13 and if form continues they will be a threat to come from behind as they have in three games this season.

Towson scored three in the first inning after leadoff hitter Nick Krebs reached on an error and Blair Merson singled in front of a two-run triple from Sam Stark (2-for-4), who scored on a passed ball.

Catonsville answered with a run in the first on RBI double by Kevin Sheppard.

Beautz singled to start the second and came home on an run-scoring ground out by Land.

The same formula worked in the third for the tying run when Land plated Beautz after his leadoff triple.

"It was a 2-0 count and I knew he was down so I was looking for a fast ball so he threw a fast ball down the middle and I just hit it," Beautz said.

Catonsville coach Rich Hambor wasn't surprised at the sophomore's plate maturity.

"We call him 'Mr. Fundamental' because he does everything properly and he is willing to learn," Hambor said.

Catonsville scored its go-ahead run when Land's hit was followed by a pair of walks and he scored when Sheppard reached on a error.

Meanwhile, Catonsville starting pitcher Tyler Armstrong had settled down after the three-run first by retiring 12 of the next 16 hitters through the fourth inning.

But, a one-out double by Stark was followed by Kerschner's infield safety with two outs and another infield hit by Kevin Francis that hit second base and scored Stark with the tying run.

DJ Fielder loaded the bases with a soft single to right and starting pitcher KC Nightingale helped his own cause when he reached on an error while Kerschner came home with the go-ahead run.

Armstrong buckled down and retired Tucker Williams (2-for-3) with a high fastball to end his outing.

It was the fifth strike out for Armstrong, who was clocked at 84 miles per hour.

"I've never been clocked before, but I threw 59 when I was 11, but I was impressed with that (84)," said Armstrong, who was more comfortable with another pitch. "The pitch I thought was most effective was my cutter because I can throw it behind a player's back and count on it breaking down the middle."

His off-speed stuff also made the decision by Hambor to insert sophomore flame thrower Klein to close the game in the final two innings.

Klein, who was clocked at 85, appeared to be throwing harder because he is taller and he had a stiff breeze behind him.

"It's a little mental for the other team when you see a new guy and I think they feel like he is throwing a little faster," Hambor said.

Klein, who earned a victory by pitching the eighth inning in relief of Armstrong in a 6-5 triumph over Eastern Tech before Spring Break, allowed two hits and fanned two in the final two innings for the save.

He was helped in the sixth by a double play started by shortstop Carpenter and turned by second baseman Brendan McTaggart.

"I can't throw a fast ball the entire game because I have to keep everybody off balance," Armstrong said. "That's why it's good for John to come in because he throws harder than me and he can throw the ball by them."

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