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Baseball Powers Past Iona in Home Opener, 12-3
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 02/22/2013

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FAIRFAX, Va. - A strong offensive showing helped power the George Mason baseball team past Iona, 12-3, in its home opener on Friday afternoon at Spuhler Field.

Mason registered 13 hits in the game, improving to 1-3 overall with the win, while junior Anthony Montefusco earned his first win of the season to even his record at 1-1. Iona dropped to 1-3 overall, as starter Eddie Macaluso dropped to 0-2.

Iona opened the game with three consecutive hits to load the bases with no outs in the first. Montefusco struck out his next batter faced before Iona third baseman Matt Hratko hit an sacrifice fly to right field, scoring one run. Montefusco was able to limit the damage, as he got catcher Sean Menickella to strikeout to end the inning and leave the scoreboard at 1-0.

Mason came right back in the home half of the fourth, capitalizing on three Gaels errors to take back the lead, 3-1. With one out, junior Josh Leemhuis reached on a fielder's choice and eventually moved to scoring position as he stole second base. After senior Duncan Satherlie popped up to short, junior Tucker Tobin walked and classmate Blaise Fernandez singled through the left side to score Leemhuis. Two consecutive Iona errors put sophomore Ray Toto and junior Mick Foley on base while also scoring two additional Mason runs to leave the scoreboard at 3-1.

Two more Patriot runs crossed the plate in the third, as Tobin led off with a single and came home on a blast by Fernandez, his first home run of the season, to extend the lead to 5-1.

A five run fifth inning put the game away for Mason, as the Patriots went through the order at the plate. The Patriots loaded the bases with one out for freshman Brandon Gum, who hit an RBI single to right field for the first run of the inning. Sophomore Andrew Sable followed with a two-RBI single up the middle and Tommy Vitaletti registered his own RBI single for a 10-1 advantage.

Iona added two in the sixth with RBI hits from Hratko and first baseman Christian Choman, but the Patriots tacked on single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings for the final 12-3 margin.

Montefusco had a strong showing, going 5.0 innings and allowing just one run on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Freshman Mark Maksimow, junior Neight Hoffa and freshman Chris Payne all appeared in relief for the Patriots, allowing a combined two runs on four hits and eight strikeouts.

Fernandez finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Tobin went a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored.

Macaluso threw 4.0 innings for the Gaels, giving up five runs (two earned) on five hits. Hratko was 1-for-3 at the plate with two RBI's.

The Patriots and Gaels return to action tomorrow at Spuhler Field for a 2:00 p.m. affair.