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Baseball Rallies for 7-6 Win Over Maryland
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 04/03/2012

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The George Mason baseball team drove in three runs in the top half of the eighth inning and escaped a bases-loaded ninth inning jam, rallying to knock off Maryland, 7-6, on Tuesday evening at Shipley Field.

The non-conference affair featured two ties and six lead changes, with Mason (19-11) taking the lead for good on an RBI single by redshirt sophomore outfielder Josh Leemhuis in the eighth.

Maryland registered the first run of the contest in the home half of the third inning with an RBI single by KJ Hockaday for a 1-0 lead.

However, Mason responded in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Leemhuis doubled to right center to start the inning and advanced to third on a balk by Maryland starter Brady Kirkpatrick, who then walked Mason sophomore first baseman Mick Foley to leave runners at the corners. Leemhuis scored on a pickoff attempt to first that also advanced Foley to second, where he was able to score on an RBI single by junior second baseman Chris Cook for the final Patriot run of the inning.

The lead was short lived, as the Terps knotted the game at 2-2 in their half of the fourth. With one out and the bases loaded, Jordan Hagel singled to shallow left field, bringing in one run. Maryland attempted to bring in a second run on the hit, but Mason left fielder Duncan Satherlie quickly picked up the ball and made the throw home preventing another run from scoring.

Mason wasted no time again grabbing the lead in the top of the fifth inning as senior outfielder Dan Schafferman walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on an infield groundout and eventually crossed home plate on another wild pitch by Maryland reliever Michael Boyden, giving the Patriots a 3-2 advantage.

Maryland took the lead again with back-to-back solo home runs by Tim Kiene and Michael Montville for the 4-3 advantage in the home half of the fifth inning.

Continuing the back-and-forth pace of the game, the Patriots knotted the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning. With one out and runners on second and third, sophomore Jordan Hill hit a single to Maryland shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez who was unable to come up with the ball, allowing a Patriot run to score from third.

Maryland snagged the lead in the home half of the sixth inning, loading the bases with no outs. Terps Hockaday grounded into a double play that allowed a run to score from third, and Tomo Delp lined a shot down the left field line to bring in another run and give Maryland a 6-4 lead.

Mason rallied to take the lead for good in the top half of the eighth inning after scoring three runs. With two outs, Schafferman and senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson both walked before Helgeson was eventually replaced by freshman pinch runner Andrew Sable. Satherlie stepped to the plate and hit an assumed inning-ending fly ball to right field, but Maryland's Hagel lost the ball, resulting in a bases-clearing three-base error to tie the game at 6-6. Satherlie then served as the game-winning run as he was driven in by Leemhuis' RBI single for the final 7-6 advantage.

Maryland loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Mason closer Chris O'Grady worked out of the jam by striking out and grounding out the final two batters faced to secure the win.

Leemhuis led Mason at the plate, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and one run scored.  Schafferman finished 0-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Cook registered the final RBI, reaching base on all five of his appearances (1-for-2, three walks).

Mason used six pitchers in the game. Starter Brandon Kuter lasted 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts. John Williams (1.0 IP, 2H, 2R) and Sean Cabrera (1.1 IP, 2H, 2UR, 1 BB) also saw action before Branden Bartlett entered the game to earn his second win of the season in 1.0 innings of work. Jake Kalish threw the eighth inning, striking out one, before O'Grady entered for his seventh save of the season.

Maryland was led by Hagel, who finished the day 4-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored. Charlie Haslup took the loss after working 2.2 innings of relief, giving up three unearned runs on two hits.

The Patriots return to action this weekend, traveling to Richmond to face VCU in a CAA weekend series.