Digest: Towson nips Northeastern, 9-8, in CAA tourney opener

College baseball

Towson nips Northeastern, 9-8, in CAA tourney opener

Junior left-hander Kyle Paul earned his first save of the season by pitching out of a ninth-inning jam as Towson advanced to the second round of the Colonial Athletic Association baseball tournament with a 9-8 victory over Northeastern (28-25) in Harrisonburg, Va., on Wednesday afternoon. The victory marked the first time since joining the CAA in 2002 that Towson (26-28) has won its tournament opener. The Tigers advance to the second round, where they will play top-seeded UNC Wilmington on Thursday afternoon at noon. The Tigers, who took a 9-6 lead into the top of the ninth inning, needed some solid pitching by Paul to secure their third win in four games against Northeastern. Pinch hitter Will Dougherty led off the ninth inning with a single to left field. Junior right fielder Aaron Barbosa followed with a single to center field, bringing the tying run to the plate. However, junior righthander Nik Nowottnick, in his second inning of relief, walked junior leftfielder Brad Burcroff on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. At that point, Paul was summoned from the bullpen. He retired first baseman Rob Fonseca on a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring a run to make it a 9-7 game as all three runners advanced. When junior shortstop Jason Vosler, who was 4-for-4 at that point, grounded out to sophomore first baseman Brendan Butler, Barbosa scored to cut the lead to 9-8 with two outs. But Paul nailed down the victory by retiring freshman second baseman Michael Foster on a fly ball to sophomore leftfielder Peter Bowles as the Tigers held on for the win .Senior right-hander Mike Volpe earned the win for the Tigers, throwing 133 pitches in seven innings and giving up five runs on nine hits. He issued only one walk and had a career-high 11 strikeouts.

Honors: Towson senior catcher Andrew Parker (Cardinal Gibbons) was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year and six Tigers were named to the All-CAA teams. Junior designated hitter Kurt Wertz was named an All-CAA first-team selection, and sophomore outfielder Peter Bowles, third baseman Zach Fisher (Perry Hall), junior center fielder-pitcher Brandon Gonnella and Parker were named to the second team. Junior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono (Cardinal Gibbons) earned a spot on the third team. Parker is the second Tiger to win the defensive honor; shortstop Nick Natoli received the award in 2008 and 2009. Parker threw out 23 of 48 base runners trying to steal, had a .994 fielding percentage and was part of seven double plays. He had only three passed balls. ... Salisbury senior right-hander Andrew Levy was named a D3baseball.com honorable mention All-American.

Et cetera

After 4 years out, Tsonga coming back to Citi Open

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the hard-hitting Frenchman who is currently No. 8 in the world, will return this summer to Washington's hard-court classic, the Citi Open, after a four-year absence. Tsonga, 28, headlines a men's field that includes the entire U.S. Davis Cup squad — 20th ranked Sam Querrey, John Isner (No. 21) and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. Others committed to the 48-player men's draw include American Mardy Fish, Gael Monfils of France and Australians Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt, the tournament's 2004 champion. Rising star Sloane Stephens, 20, who scored the biggest victory of her career in toppling fellow American Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year, will return to contest the title in 32-plauer women's field. The Citi Open, which is celebrating its 45th year, will be held July27 to Aug. 4 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Stadium. The tournament is one of 11 ATP World Tour 500-level events a prestigious distinction reflecting the quality of an event's field and the size of its purse, and is regarded as a key tuneup for the season's final Grand Slam event, the U.S. Open.

Liz Clarke, The Washington Post

Navy football: CBS announced that the Navy-Air Force game Oct. 5 will be televised at 11:30a.m.; the Midshipmen's game against Army on Dec.14 will begin at 3 p.m.

Women's college track and field: Coppin State sophomore Melissa Caddle and freshman Deandra Daniel will participate in the NCAA Championship at North Carolina A&T.; Caddle qualified in the 400 meters, and Daniel qualified in the high jump. Caddle will begin her competition today with the opening round of the 400 meters scheduled to begin at 7:20 p.m. Daniel will compete in the high jump Friday at 6p.m.

From Sun staff and news services

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