FAIRFAX, Va. - In the first two home games of the 2014 season, the George Mason baseball team (8-2) shutout the Hartford Hawks (0-5) 1-0 in consecutive games at Spuhler Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Patriots entered the day with a 6-2 record, however extended it to 8-2 with both wins in Saturday’s doubleheader with the Hawks. Game one went to Mason by the score of 1-0 and the second contest of the day, lasting seven innings, also went in favor of the Patriots with the score of 1-0. The shutouts are the third and fourth, respectively, of the season for the Patriots.
The Green and Gold started redshirt senior Anthony Montefusco on the mound in game one against Harford’s Sean Newcomb. Newcomb, listed as a top-50 draft prospect heading into the 2014 season, lasted five and two-thirds innings against the Patriot lineup. The lefty allowed three hits while walking three, all in the sixth inning, and striking out six in his time on the mound in his first loss of the season (0-1).
Montefusco ended up on the front end his third shutout of the season to improve his record to 3-0 in three starts. The senior pitched six innings, allowing eight hits but struck out five batters and walked zero. Montefusco once again teamed up with sophomore Mark Maksimow, who pitched the final three innings of the ballgame to collect his third save of the season. Makismow allowed one hit and walked one batter while striking out two.The two pitchers have teamed up for three of Mason's four shutouts this season.
Hartford recorded nine hits in the first ballgame, all singles, but was unable to bring any runs across the plate. The Hawks also added five more singles in game two but was once again kept from bringing any of their runners home.
The run in game number one came in the sixth inning for the Patriots. After Chris Cook and Josh Leemhuis drew walks with two outs in the inning, junior Luke Willis hit a hard grounder to third that bounced off the third baseman and was counted as an error, loading the bases. Tucker Tobin was next at the plate and drew the third walk of the inning off Newcomb, bringing in Cook from third for the lone run.
Mason would work quicker in game number two, scoring its only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Leemhuis took his third walk of the day which was followed by an infield single from Willis. Two batters later, Blaise Fernandez delivered another two-out hit for the Patriots, a double to right center field that brought home Leemhuis from second. The double was Fernandez's team-leading fifth of the season.
The pitching trio of Tyler Zombro, Riley Coverdale and Evan Porcella put in the work on the mound in game two, holding the Hawks to five hits in seven innings. The freshman Zombro made his first collegiate start, lasting three innings and earning his second win of the season. With the victory, the Patriots improve to 7-0 when they score the first runs of the ballgame.
The series finale between the Patriots and the Hawks is slated for Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m.