Deuces were wild for Towson High’s baseball team Monday afternoon. Two solo home runs and a timely double helped the host Generals to a 2-run victory, 3-1, over 11th-ranked Dulaney in a Baltimore County Division I contest.
Double plays were also key for Towson (7-1 overall, 5-1 Division I), which recorded three unconventional double plays to help it move into first-place in the league standings, a half-game ahead of Dulaney and Perry Hall (both 5-2).
“I’ve been around baseball long enough to know that we were incredibly fortunate,” Generals coach Shawn Tormey said. “They hit the ball right on the button, and we just happened to be in the right spot. They were huge. It got us out of some jams. We were walking a tightrope, and it was very fortunate, but that’s baseball.”
The first of those twin killings came with one on and one out in the first. A line drive off the bat of Dulaney’s Matt Dow went straight to center fielder Michael Parry, who then threw out Thomas Mezzello at second base as he was unable to get back to the bag.
With the bases loaded and none down in the second as a line out to second baseman Marquise Harris followed a force-out throw at second base. Lefty hurler Adam Decker, who went the distance on the mound for the Generals, then struck out Jalen Alexander on a breaking ball to close out the inning.
“Honestly, without (the double plays) this game would have been different,” said Decker, who allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts on 90 pitches. “I’m really proud of how we did fielding-wise.”
Decker followed that timely punch out with a home run to left center field for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
“I think he threw me a change-up,” Decker said of his home run off of Dulaney starter Connor Dow. “I saw the spin, and I got excited and ripped it.”
Towson loaded the bases after Decker’s homer, sandwiching an error, a base hit by Parry, and a hit batsman around two strikeouts. Connor Dow ended the threat by inducing a flyout by Harris.
Mezzullo, who went 2 for 3 with 2 stolen bases, tied the contest in the top of the third inning, scoring on a passed ball. He reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and moved to third on a groundout to first base by Maddox Helme.
Aziz Bishop reclaimed the lead for good for Towson in the bottom half of the third, launching a solo home run over the right field-center field fence for a 2-1 advantage.
“It was a bad day at the office,” said Lions coach Max Jemellaro, whose squad dropped to 8-2. “You hit the ball, but you hit it right at somebody. We had no luck today. Just one of those days. Just a couple of missed spots (from starter Connor Dow), and they didn’t miss them.”
Towson added an insurance run in the sixth on a run-scoring bloop single to shallow left field by Nate Berkowitz that followed a double down the right-field line by Parry (2 for 3, stolen base). Parry’s double fell just inside of the foul line and then bounced to the fence in foul territory.
Decker, who Tormey said had pitched sparingly this spring because of a lack of consistent control on the mound, issued a walk with one out in the top of the seventh before striking out Alexander and Ibo Bakir to seal the win. Bakir went down looking.
The Generals, who won the Baltimore County Division I crown en route to the Class 3A state championship game last spring, will travel to Dulaney Thursday. The game will not count in the Division I standings.
“I got to strike out a lot of my friends, especially in a rivalry game,” Decker said. “It was really big for me. Definitely my slider (was his best pitch), especially against lefties. It really helped me out.”
TOWSON 3, NO. 11 DULANEY 1
Dulaney 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 1 5 1
Towson 0 1 1 0 0 1 x - 3 6 1
WP - Adam Decker. LP - Connor Dow. 2B: Dulaney - Nate Musselman. Towson - Michael Parry. HR: Towson - Adam Decker, Aziz Bishop. RBI: Towson - Adam Decker, Aziz Bishop, Nate Berkowitz.