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Baseball Can't Get Big Hit, Falls at Maryland
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 03/30/2011

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The George Mason baseball team got a fabulous performance from its pitching staff on a cold and rainy night in College Park, Md., but the Patriots were unable to get the big hit as they lost to the University of Maryland, 3-2. Eight Mason pitchers did not allow an earned run but the Patriots stranded 14 runners as they could not capitalize on 12 walks and two hit batters.

The Patriots scattered eight hits and walked five Maryland batters but it was a second-inning error that led to all three Maryland runs scoring. The Patriots loaded the bases in the second, third, seventh and eighth but managed runs in just one of those four innings.

In the second, Mason loaded the bases without a hit. Shane Davis walked to lead off the inning and after Blaise Fernandez flew out to center, Zack Helgeson and Mick Foley drew back-to-back walks. But Jake Leonardo popped out to second and Nick Allen struck out swinging. The Terrapins took advantage of the momentum swing to score three in the bottom of the second.

Brandon Padula drew a lead-off walk, went to second on a wild pitch and after a Brig Tison error on a Curtis Lazar grounder put runners on second and third, Jordan Hagel hit an infield single to make it 1-0. Korey Wacker followed with a suicide squeeze sacrifice bunt that not only scored Lazar, but brought home Hagel from third as well.

After allowing those three unearned runs, the Patriots again threatened in the third. This time, Chris Cook and Brig Tison were hit by pitches to lead off the inning, but Dan Schafferman couldn't get the bunt down, failing to advance the runners. Davis followed with a walk to load the bases but Fernandez popped out foul and Helgeson grounded to short to end the inning.

The Terrapins threatened in the third against Sean Cabrera as he allowed a one-out single and a two-out walk, then a double steal, before getting a fly out to end the inning. In the fourth, against Jake Kleine ,  Maryland got back-to-back one-out walks, but Kleine got a fly out and ground out to end the inning. Maosn put runners on the corner with one out in the fifth as Schafferman walked and Davis singled, but Davis was picked off and Schafferman tried to score on the play and both were thrown out on the base paths. In the bottom of the inning, Maryland managed two hits against Garret Marin but lined out and struck out to keep the score at 3-0.

In the top of the sixth, Fernandez struck out swinging but reached on a wild pitch, took second on a wild pitch, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Mick Foley drew a one-out walk, but Leonardo struck out, the third strike out of the inning for Blair Delean, and Allen flew out to center.

Mason didn't squander its opportunity in the seventh against one of Maryland's top relievers, Charlie Haslup. Cook began the inning with a walk and Tison singled to bring up Schafferman, who went ahead in the count 3-0, then had to fight for a full-count walk. Davis followed with a five-pitch walk to make it 3-1. Fernandez followed with a fielder's choice that plated Tison and made it 3-2. But Helgeson struck out looking and Foley flew out to left to keep it a one-run game.

In the eighth, Leonardo led off with a double and Allen followed with a walk. Cook's sacrifice bunt attempt was unsuccessful though as reliever Korey Wacker threw out Leonardo at third. After Tison flew out, Schafferman walked to load the bases for the fourth time in the game but Wacker got Davis swinging to end the frame. The Patriots went in order in the ninth.

The Patriots will return to action this weekend when they host James Madison at Spuhler Field in a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series. Friday's contest is slated for a 3 p.m. start.