FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason baseball team broke out the
bats, supporting a strong pitching performance by senior Ryan Pfaeffle as the
Patriots topped Old Dominion, 7-1, in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday
afternoon at Spuhler Field.
Mason put 14 hits on the scoreboard in the win, improving to
26-15 overall and 12-8 in the CAA. The Monarchs dropped to 15-24 and 5-12 in
the conference with the loss.
Pfaeffle had a strong outing for the Patriots, going seven
strong innings and giving up just one run while scattering six hits and
striking out four. Branden Bartlett threw two shutout innings of relief with
Mason wasted no time putting runs on the board, driving in
three runs in the top of the first inning. With one out and a runner on second in
the bottom of the first, the Patriots strung together three-consecutive doubles
from senior outfielder Dan Schafferman, senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson
and sophomore third baseman Blaise Fernandez for its first lead of the series.
Mason padded its leads with four runs in the home half of
the fourth inning, starting with a two-RBI double by junior outfielder Nick
Allen that gave the Patriots a 5-0 lead. Senior third baseman Brig Tison
followed with a single to leave runners at the corners for Schafferman, who hit
an RBI groundout to short and Helgeson registered an RBI single to left for the
final Mason run of the inning and the 7-0 advantage.
The Monarchs broke up the shutout in the seventh with a
two-out RBI single from outfielder Josh Eldridge, but it proved to be the final
run ODU would receive in the game, as reliever Branden Bartlett came on in
relief for Mason in the eighth and kept the Monarch bats at bay for the final
Junior second baseman Chris Cook went a perfect 4-for-4 at
the plate with one run scored, while Helgeson recorded a 3-for-4 performance
with two RBI's and one run scored.
Eldridge was the lone ODU hitter to register more than one
hit in the game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Monarch starter Ben Tomchick took the loss after working 4.0
innings, giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits while striking out five.