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(Photo by George Mason Athletics)
Helgeson's Blast in the Bottom of the Ninth Powers Baseball Past Hofstra, 6-4
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 03/09/2012

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FAIRFAX, Va. - A one out, two-run home run blast from senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson in the bottom of the ninth propelled the George Mason baseball team to a 6-4 win over Hofstra on Friday afternoon at Spuhler Field.

After Hofstra (4-8, 0-1) tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI double by senior outfielder Danny Poma, the stage was set for Helgeson's heroics in the bottom half of the inning.

The Pride sent junior righty Jared Rogers to the mound, and he started the inning by getting Mason (9-4, 1-0) senior third baseman Brig Tison to fly out to left. Senior outfielder Dan Schafferman then stepped to the plate and hit a line drive to right field, putting a runner on base for Helgeson, who drilled the ball deep to left field for his fifth home run of the season to give Mason the 6-4 conference win.

Mason fell behind early for the third-consecutive game but once again was able to recover for the victory. The Patriots gave up a run in the top of the first inning as Poma hit a one out solo shot to right center to give the Pride (4-8, 0-1) a 1-0 lead.

However, Mason responded with two runs of its own in the home half of the first inning. Junior second baseman Chris Cook started the game with a single through the right side, and after Tison popped up Schafferman hit a single up the middle to leave runners at first and second. Both Cook and Schafferman advanced a base on a wild pitch, allowing Helgeson to drive in both runners on a hard-hit double to right center for a 2-1 Patriot advantage.

Mason added another run in the second with the bases loaded and nobody out. Cook grounded into a double play, but it was hit hard enough to allow sophomore first baseman Mick Foley to score from third, extending the lead to 3-1.

Hofstra tied the game in the top of the fifth with an RBI double from second baseman Matt Ford and an RBI single from first baseman Jared Hammer to leave the scoreboard at 3-3, but Mason once again replied with a run of its own in in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single from redshirt sophomore Josh Leemhuis to grab the lead back, 4-3.

Helgeson finished the day 2-for-5 at the plate, driving in four of the Patriots' six runs. Schafferman was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and Leemhuis was 2-for-4 with the other Mason RBI.

Sophomore Jake Kalish (2-0) earned the win in relief, throwing 3.0 innings and allowing three hits, one earned run, one walk and one strikeout. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Montefusco started the game for Mason and left with the lead but was straddled with the no decision after going 5.0 innings with eight hits, three earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts. Sophomore Neight Hoffa worked 1.0 innings, striking out two.

Poma led the way for Hofstra, going 4-for-5 with two RBI's and two runs scored.

Rogers (0-3) took the loss, throwing just 0.1 innings and giving up the game-winning home run. Starter David D'Errico lasted 6.0 innings with 11 hits, four earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts, while Cody Normand and Joe Burg each threw 1.0 innings of relief.

The Patriots and the Pride square off again tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm from Spuhler Field.


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