|Baseball Felled by UNCW, 11-5|
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The George Mason baseball team recorded 10 hits, including six in the fourth inning, but couldn't overcome four UNCW home runs as the Sehawks took game two of the season series, 11-5, on Friday evening at Brooks Field.
The Patriots dropped their fifth-consecutive game to go to 32-22 overall and 15-14 in the CAA, while the Seahawks extended their winning streak to six games while improving to 35-19 overall and 24-5 in the conference.
Errors again doomed the Patriots, allowing the Seahawks to bring in two runs in the home half of the first inning. With two outs, UNCW outfielder Andrew Cain reached on a fielding error by Mason senior shortstop Brig Tison and first baseman Hunter Ridge followed with a hard hit two run home run to right center for a 2-0 advantage.
Molinaro added a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the third, drilling the ball deep to right field to extend the Seahawk lead to 3-0, and outfielder Thomas Pope drove in another UNCW run with a double to deep left field to leave the scoreboard at 4-0.
The Mason bats came alive in the top of the fifth as the team racked up six hits and drove in four runs to tie the game at 4-4. Sophomore third baseman Blaise Fernandez led off with a single and was followed by a single to left from junior outfielder Duncan Satherlie. Senior first baseman Zack Helgeson then drilled his team-leading 12th home run of the season deep to left center to pull the Patriots to within one run, 4-3.
Mason added three more hits after the home run, as junior second baseman Chris Cook, Tison and senior outfielder Dan Schafferman all singled, with one more Patriot run crossing home plate on the single by Schafferman to knot the game at 4-4.
However, the Seahawks grabbed the lead right back in the bottom half of the fifth as Ridge tripled to right center and came home on an RBI single up the middle from catcher Drew Farber for a 5-4 advantage.
UNCW received two home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to push its lead to 8-4. Designated hitter Corey Dick hit a solo shot to start the inning and after Bass singled to right, third baseman Matt Campbell lined a two-run shot to left.
Mason attempted to chip away at the UNCW lead as freshman outfielder Tommy Vitaletti hit his first collegiate home run deep to left field in the seventh inning to leave the score at 8-5, but it was all the closer the Patriots could get as the Seahawks tacked on two more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth for the final 11-5 margin.
Freshman John Williams dropped to 4-3 on the season after giving up the go-ahead run in the fifth. He threw two innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits. Starter Ryan Pfaeffle went three innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits with a pair of strikeouts. Sophomores Sean Cabrera (1.1 IP, 2H, 2ER, 1K) and Neight Hoffa (1.2 IP, 1H, 1ER) also appeared in relief for Mason.
Helgeson led the Mason offense with three runs driven in on a 1-for-3 showing at the plate. Fernandez was 2-for-2, while Vitaletti and Schafferman both went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The Seahawks used six pitchers in the contest, with reliever Jack Lane earning the win and improving to 3-0 after 0.2 innings of work. Starter Mat Batts lasted 4.2 innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Dick ended the day 2-for-3 with two RBI's, while Ridge was 2-for-4 with two RBI's and Campbell drove in two runs with a 1-for-4 showing at the plate.
The Patriots and Seahawks conclude regular season action tomorrow with a 2:00 pm affair at Brooks Field.