FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason bullpen combined to limit the University of
Maryland to one hit over the final five-and-two-thirds innings, and the
Patriots' early lead held up as Mason topped the Terrapins, 5-3, on Wednesday
afternoon at Spuhler Field.
With the win, Mason swept the season series with the Terps
and improved to 32-17 on the season, while Maryland dropped to 29-20.
Mason jumped on the Terps in the home half of the first
inning, scoring three runs with two outs showing on the scoreboard to take an
early lead. Putting runners on second and third with two outs, Mason stayed
alive as sophomore designated hitter Blaise Fernandez hit a grounder to Maryland
third baseman KJ Hockaday who mishandled the ball, allowing Fernandez to reach
and a run to score from third. The next batter, sophomore outfielder Josh
Leemhuis, hit an RBI single to drive in another run and junior second baseman
Chris Cook followed with a single to load the bases. The final Mason run of the
inning came on a wild pitch by Maryland starter Sander Beck, allowing Fernandez
to score from third for a 3-0 Patriot lead.
Padding the lead in the second, senior outfielder Dan
Schafferman hit a one-out sacrifice fly to deep left center to extend the lead
Maryland ended the shutout in the fourth, scoring three runs
to cut the Mason lead to 4-3. Patriot starter Brandon Kuter walked his first
two batters faced before giving up an RBI single to Maryland first baseman Tomo
Delp. Kuter got his next batter faced to strikeout, but shortstop Ryan Holland
singled to right to bring in another Terps run to end Kuter's day.
Kleine entered the game for Mason, only to see his first batter faced reach on
an error that also allowed a run to score to pull the Terps to within one run,
4-3 before Kleine shut down his next two batters to preserve the lead.
Fernandez gave the Patriots an insurance run in the bottom
of the fifth, hitting a sacrifice fly to right for the final 5-3 margin.
Kleine (1-0) earned his first career win at Mason after
working 2.2 innings of relief, striking out two while only giving up one hit. Kuter
threw 3.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
Junior Kevin Lingerman and sophomore Sean Cabrera combined to hold the Terps
hitless over the final three innings, with Cabrera taking home the first save
of his career at Mason.
Fernandez brought in two of the Patriots' five runs on the
day, while senior Brig Tison and sophomore Jordan Hill both went 2-for-3 with a
Beck fell to 5-2 on the season,
throwing 4.1 innings and allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits with
three strikeouts. Holland was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
With their midweek schedule completed, the Patriots return to action this weekend at Spuhler Field, hosting Delaware
in its final home CAA series. Friday will be the Mason Game of the
Week, and all students in attendance will receive a mini bat with valid student
ID, and on Sunday the team will take a moment to honors its seniors during a