Towson baseball team shakes off bad start Logwood, Hughes lead bid for NCAAs

May 06, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Jay Logwood and Joe Hughes have shaken off lousy starts to put Towson State baseball in position to reach the NCAA tournament for the third time in six years.

The Tigers finish the regular season with a weekend series at UMBC, and if they can take two of the three games, they'll pass Coastal Carolina and earn the No. 1 seed for the Big South Conference tournament in Conway, S.C., on May 13-15.

Towson State is 18-20 overall, but it has rebounded nicely from 2-10 start.

Logwood is a senior center fielder from Randallstown who was a second-team All-American last season, when he finished fourth in the nation with a .474 batting average. He hit only .182 with one homer and three RBI through the first 10 games this season, but in 28 games since, he has a .457 average, 12 home runs and 43 RBI (he's now hitting .386). Logwood's school career records are up to 208 hits, 142 runs, 41 home runs and 141 RBI.

"He's on fire," Towson State coach Mike Gottlieb said. "I don't know if he was pressing earlier in the year, but if you can't be patient with the best hitter you've ever had, you can't be patient with anyone."

A 5-foot-9, 150-pound junior left-hander who went to Calvert Hall, Hughes has a 7-2 record and leads the Big South with a 1.35 ERA. That's considerably better than last season, when he transferred from Davis & Elkins in the West Virginia Conference and had a 6.83 ERA. Hughes beat Campbell, 14-1, Monday, setting a school record with 16 strikeouts and tying the Tigers mark of seven complete games set by current Montreal Expos starter Chris Nabholz in 1988.

"You know who has a better arm and curveball [Nabholz], but in terms of being able to pitch, Hughes is the best we've ever had," Gottlieb said. "Joe's got great movement on his fastball, a good changeup and great location. Nabholz could overpower you, but he didn't spot his fastball as well as Joe.

"I had never seen him pitch until he stepped on the field here. I met him after he enrolled, and he was around 5-8, 140 pounds. I said, 'Isn't that great, they're sending me a midget.' He struggled last year, but when he learned to come inside and get the corner, his whole game turned around."

On the track

Navy is after its third straight Heptagonals track and field championship at Brown this weekend, and the rest of the state's teams will compete in invitationals at Towson State, Mount St. Mary's or George Mason on Saturday.

The Metro Championships in Emmitsburg begin Friday with a decathlon, but the field doesn't include the state's best multi-event performer. Mount St. Mary's Rob Pendergist, the four-time IC4A pentathlon champion indoors, will petition the NCAA for a medical hardship and eligibility in 1994.

Pendergist, who was seventh in the NCAA decathlon last year, hasn't competed since winning the Florida Relays in March with a score of 7,733 points. An injury to his right elbow keeps him from throwing the javelin.

Coppin State junior Diana Pitts appears headed back to the NCAA championships. One of the top half-milers in the east, Pitts took the 800 at the George Mason Spring Invitational in 2:06.24, just off her personal best. She'll spend most of May at George Mason, which has the Mizuno Invitational this week and the ECACs May 15-16.

Bowie State has finalists

Athletic director Charles Guilford said that Bowie State will name a new football coach by next week.

There are three finalists to replace Sanders Shiver, who resigned in March after four seasons. Sherman Wood, a former Bowie State assistant, was at Virginia Union last season, Jim Miceli was on the Pitt staff and Tony Tademy on the Northeast Louisiana staff.

Briefly

The Navy baseball team plays at Fordham in the first Patriot League playoffs. The best-of-three series begins with a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday if necessary. . . . Maryland finished 5-17 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. . . . Washington's Pam Hendrickson beat Johns Hopkins' Tamar Hausman, 6-1, 2-6, 6-1, for the Middle Atlantic Conference women's singles tennis title.

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