FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason baseball team (23-16, 10-5) was able to score a run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but fell just short in its comeback attempt as Saint Louis (24-16, 12-4) won game two of the series 4-3 on Saturday afternoon.
The Billikens got out to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning and tacked on what would be the winning run in the top of the seventh to hang on for the second consecutive one-run contest. Mike Vigliarolo started the scoring for Saint Louis with a two-run homerun to left field in the third at bat of the ballgame for a quick 2-0 lead. Two more singles in the top of the first made it 3-0 before Mason had a chance on offense.
Jared Gaynor allowed a season-high four earned runs in the loss, moving his record to 6-3 this season. The left hander gave up eight of the nine Billiken hits while walking two and striking out five batters in seven innings. Gaynor also had one balk that moved a runner to second base in the seventh inning who came around to score in the next at bat off a single by Danny Brennan, who went 2-3 in the game.
The Patriots scored all three of their runs on sacrifice flies; one in the fifth by Blaise Fernandez, one in the sixth by Chris Cook and one in the seventh by Tucker Tobin. Nick Bates allowed all three runs and all nine hits as he advanced his record to 5-1 with the win in seven and one-thirds innings pitched. He matched Gaynor by walked two batters and striking out five.
The Patriots had their best chance in the top of the eighth at tying up the ballgame. Tobin led off with a double into right-center field and Anthony Montefusco used an opposite field groundout to move him to third with one out. Chris Cook was walked in the next at bat however was picked off at first base by reliever Brett Shimanovsky to force the second out. Foley struck out with Tobin on third to end the threat. Shimanovsky forced three flyouts to center field in the bottom of the ninth for his first save of the season.
The series will be decided on Sunday, April 27 at a start time of 11 a.m. at Spuhler Field.