Freshman third baseman Blaise Fernandez
tie a school record with his third double of the game on Saturday afternoon, he
also gave the Patriots a dramatic 10-9 win over Towson as Fernandez' hit with
the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth rallied George Mason
baseball team from a one-run deficit to beat the Tigers to even their
three-game series at 1-1.
Fernandez, who popped up earlier in the game with
the bases loaded and two outs, drove a 2-1 fastball to left-center and over the
outstretched arm of a diving Brian Wyman to bring home Jordan Hill
tying run and Brig Tison
with the game-winning run. For the Patriots (18-27-1,
5-18 CAA) it was the first time this year in 21 games that the Patriots have
won when trailing after eight innings. Also in the game, Tison had a pair of
hits to push his hitting streak to 25 straight, tying Eddie Jordan's school
record set in 2000.
Towson (19-21-1, 10-10) took a second-inning lead
when Andrew Parker doubled, went to third on a Steve Rice sacrifice bunt and
scored on a Chris Wychock sacrifice fly. Mason answered in the bottom of the
inning when Shane Davis
doubled and Zack Helgeson
followed with his 13th
homer to put the Patriots ahead, 2-1.
In the third, Brandon Gonnella singled, took second
on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Nick Natoli single to make it 2-2. But the
Patriots came back to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning. Dan
Schafferman drew a one-out walk, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a
Fernandez double. Fernandez came home to score on a Shane Davis
single to make
it 4-2. Davis went to second on an error in left by Dominic Fratantuono and
scored on a Nick Allen
single to give the Patriots a three-run lead.
In the fifth, Natoli reached on a fielder's choice
and with two outs, Pat Fitzgerald walked and Austin Harclerode singled to make
it 5-3. A double by Parker tied the game and Rice followed with a home run to
give Towson the 7-5 advantage. They added a run in the sixth when Gonnella
walked with one out, stole second, and scored on a Natoli single.
The Patriots had stranded the bases loaded in the
fifth after reliever Spencer Patton walked the bases loaded but Mason didn't
waste its chance in the sixth. Chris Cook
doubled, and after Schafferman walked
with two outs, Blaise Fernandez
doubled to make it 8-6. In the seventh,
Helgeson led off with a single, pinch hitter Mick Foley
drew a one-out walk and
Hill singled to load the bases. Cook was hit by a pitch to make it a one-run
game and Tison's sacrifice fly tied the score at 8-8.
In the eighth, Wychock led off with a single to
center, and with Ben Winter preparing to sacrifice bunt, Wychock found himself
picked off. But Chris O'Grady
's throw behind the runner was wild and Wychock
went first-to-third on the play and scored on a Winter infield single to give
Towson a 9-8 lead. Mason got a leadoff single in the ninth but Jordan Hill
sacrifice bunt attempt erased the lead runner. After Cook flew out to center,
Tison doubled and Schafferman was intentionally walked to load the bases for
The Patriots and Tigers conclude their series on
Sunday at 1 p.m. Prior to the game the Patriots will celebrate Alumni Day by
honoring the 1976 NAIA World Series Team.