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Baseball Picks Up CAA Road Win at Old Dominion
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 04/22/2011

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The George Mason baseball team couldn't hold an early four-run lead but rallied from a late-inning deficit to beat the Old Dominion Monarchs, 10-8 on Friday night in Colonial Athletic Association action. For the Patriots, it was their first CAA road win of the season and it came as Mason rallied for five unanswered runs to top the conference's second-place team.

Chris Cook , Brig Tison , Dan Schafferman , Blaise Fernandez and Zack Helgeson all had multiple hits as eight different Mason players scored runs. Tison extended his hitting streak to 19-straight games while Chris O'Grady picked up the win in relief, going five and two-third innings and throwing 101 pitches without allowing an earned run. Mason scored six earned runs off Kyle Hald who entered the game second in the CAA in ERA. They also put three on the board against Dean Ali, who led the CAA in ERA. Brandon Shelton and Nate Hartman each had three hits for ODU, which had a 12-11 edge on the Patriots in that category. Each team committed five errors.

The Patriots took a first-inning lead by working the count and waiting for their pitch. Cook led off the inning with a full-count walk and he went first to third when Hald's pick-off throw went into right field. Tison's ground out made it 1-0. With two out, Fernandez drew a full-count walk and Helgeson followed with a two-run homer, on a 3-2 pitch, to make it 3-0. The Patriots added a walk and a single in the inning as Hald went to 48 pitches in the frame.

In the third, Mason added a run when Schafferman led off with a double and Fernandez singled him home to make it 4-0. Old Dominion answered in the bottom of the third when Shelton singled, Brent Frazier walked, and Josh Wright singled to load the bases, and Chris Baker hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1. Shawn Sizemore's grounder moved Frazier to third and he scored an unearned run on a throwing error by Cook at second.

In the fourth, with two outs, Tison singled down the rightfield, stole second, and scored on a Schafferman single up the middle. It was in the bottom of that inning that the Monarchs were able to take their first lead. Hartman led off with a single and with one out, Kenny Stoneback was hit by a pitch. A Shelton single made it 5-3 and Frazier's fielder's choice made it 5-4. After Wright scored, Baker hit a pop up that should have ended the inning but Tison dropped it in shallow center and the go-ahead run came home. Ahead 6-5, Sizemore singled to bring home Baker for a two-run lead.

In the top of the fifth, Mason responded, though. Shane Davis and Jake Kalish drew back-to-back walks, the advanced on a Danny Lyons sacrifice bunt, and with two outs, Cook hit an infield single to make it 7-6. Wright made his third error of the game on the play and Kalish came home to tie the score.

In the seventh, the Patriots reclaimed the lead. With one out, Jeremy Haas walked, Cook singled to put runners on the corners and Tison's blooper to shallow center made it 8-7. Schafferman followed with a walk to load the bases and Fernandez delivered a two-run single to make it 10-7. ODU's final run came in the eighth when Frazier walked to lead off the inning, went to second on a Wright double and came home on a Baker ground out. O'Grady got two quick outs in the ninth but had to pitch out of trouble after back-to-back singles. He got Shelton to ground out to end the game. The Patriots and Monarchs will continue their series on Saturday when they play at 4 p.m.