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(Photo by George Mason Athletics)
Baseball Rallies for 5-4 Win Over William and Mary
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 03/23/2012

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FAIRFAX, Va. - Falling behind 4-0 early, the George Mason baseball team rallied to post a 5-4 win over William and Mary in game one of a Friday doubleheader at Spuhler Field.

Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Mason brought home one run to take the 5-4 lead. Senior outfielder Dan Schafferman was hit by W&M starter Matt Davenport to start the inning, who was quickly replaced. New pitcher Jay McCarthy walked his first batter faced in senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson, bringing on another pitching change as Brett Koehler took to the mound.

In a call that saw William and Mary head coach head coach Frank Leoni ejected from the game, Schafferman advanced to third  base on a called interference by the W&M shortstop Ryan Williams, and redshirt sophomore outfielder Josh Leemhuis became the second hit by pitch victim of the inning to load the bases. Sophomore Blaise Fernandez then lined a shot up the middle to score Leemhuis and give Mason the lone run it needed to earn the win.

William and Mary led off the game with consecutive singles, and an error by Mason shortstop Jordan Hill allowed a run to score from second to give the Tribe a 1-0 advantage. The team struck again in in the top of the second and third innings, adding three combined runs to extend its lead to 4-0.

The Patriots responded with a run of their own in the home half of the third inning on an RBI groundout by junior second baseman Chris Cook to cut the Tribe advantage to 4-1. Striking again in the home half of the fifth and sixth innings the Patriot tied the game at 4-4, setting up the eighth-inning dramatics. Junior outfielder Nick Allen hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth, while Fernandez and Foley each hit an RBI single in the sixth to account for the Mason runs.  

Fernandez finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI's, while Helgeson was the only other Patriot to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and one run scored.

Chris O'Grady (1-0) earned the win in relief, throwing 2.0 innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.

The Patriots took the lead in the bottom of theMason starter Anthony Montefusco lasted 7.0 innings, scattering four hits with three strikeouts and four runs (two earned).

Outfielder Tadd Bower (1-for-4), catcher Chris Forsten (1-for-3) and outfielder Josh Smith (0-for-4) each recorded an RBI for the Tribe.

Davenport (4-1)took the loss, going 7.0 innings with six hits five runs (two earned), one walk and five strikeouts before he exited after putting the winning run on base.