In his first season as the Tigers’ head coach, Mike Gottlieb (right) led the 1988 Tigers to their first East Coast Conference title, beating Delaware in the finals, 21-9. Led by pitchers Chris Nabholz and Jay Eck, the Tigers set a school record with 31 victories. In 1991, the Tigers won their second ECC championship with a 5-4 victory over Rider in the title game. Pitcher Larry Raynor was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
In 2013, Towson won its first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship and third trip to the NCAA Regionals - first since 1991. The number four seed, the Tigers marched straight through the tournament undefeated. Catcher Andrew Parker earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors and a spot on the all-tournament team. Kurt Wertz and Dominic Fratanuono were also named all-tournament honorees. Zach Fisher was the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
During their years as a member of America East, Towson fell just short of winning multiple championships, finishing as runners-up to Delaware in 1999 and 2001. Similarly, in 2005 and 2008, the Tigers were CAA runners-up, losing to Virginia Commonwealth in 2005 and James Madison in 2008.
As an NCAA Division II program, the Tigers claimed a pair of Mason-Dixon Conference championships in 1969 and 1971 under the direction of coach Earl Killian.
After claiming the 1988 ECC title in his first season as head coach, Gottlieb guided the Tigers to their first NCAA Division I Regional appearance. The Tigers finished fourth in the six-team Atlantic Regional at the University of Miami. After a first round loss to the Hurricanes, the Tigers edged Virginia Commonwealth by a score of 4-2. Towson was eliminated after losing their next contest to South Carolina.
The Tigers returned to NCAA post-season action in 1991 and travelled to Maine for the Northeast Regional. Once again, they went 1-2 and finished fourth. After a loss to Mississippi State in their opener, Rob Lynch threw a shutout to lift Towson past Princeton. The Tigers then lost to Maine and were eliminated from the field.
Most recently, Towson faced Florida Atlantic and North Carolina in the NCAA East Regional in 2013. The Tigers defeated FAU 7-2 in the first game before falling, 8-5, to UNC and 6-5 to FAU. Mike Volpe earned a spot on the NCAA Regional all-tournament team.
The Tigers only other NCAA Tournament appearance came in 1978 when they were still competing in Division II. Playing in a regional at Shippensburg, the Tigers lost their first two games and were eliminated.
Infielder Al Rubeling, a member of the Towson University Athletics Hall of Fame, was the first former Tiger to play in the big leagues. In the 1940’s, he played five seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in 253 games and batted .249.
Lefthanded pitcher Chris Nabholz became the second former Tiger in the major leagues when he made his debut with the Montreal Expos in 1990. A second round draft pick by the Expos in 1988, Nabholz pitched for the Expos for four years and compiled a 34-29 record. He also pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians before retiring in 1996. In his major league career, he pitched in 141 games and started 100 times. He compiled a 37-35 record with a 3.94 E.R.A.
In 2010, outfielder Casper Wells (right) became the third former Tiger to play in the major leagues. A 14th-round draft pick by Detroit, he played for the Tigers in 2010 and a portion of the 2011 season before being traded to Seattle at the trade deadline. In just 31 games with the Mariners, Wells belted seven homeruns and collected 15 RBIs.
Named a second team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association, outfielder Jay Logwood, ’94 was the first Tiger baseball player to earn All-American honors. Outfielder Gregg Davies, ’02 earned All-American honors in back-to-back seasons and hard-hitting first baseman Mike Costello was an honorable mention All-American in 2003.
In 2005, the Tigers had two players earn All-American notice. Designated hitter Casper Wells, who was the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, was named to the ABCA second team while first baseman Jason Maxey earned a spot on Collegiate Baseball’s second team.
In 2009, shortstop Gary Helmick (right) was also named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Kurt Wertz received third-team All-American honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2013. He was the first Tiger to receive All-American honors from the NCBWA. That same year Coach Mike Gottlieb was named the ABCA East Region Coach of the Year.
Designated hitter James Vallillo became Towson’s first-ever Academic All-America® honoree when he earned a spot on the second team in 1996. The Academic All-America® program, which is administered by the College Sports Information Directors of America, also honored Jason Rummel as a third team infielder in 1999 and outfielder Gregg Davies was a second team pick in 2002.
In 2007, catcher Ryan Schreiter was named third team Academic All-America®. Pitcher Jon Dupski (right) was also named as a third team Academic All-America® selection in 2008.