FAIRFAX, Va. – Ending the 2013 season on a high note, the George Mason baseball team staved off a late University of Connecticut rally and avoided a sweep at the hands of the Huskies with a 4-3 triumph on a rainy senior day at Spuhler Field.
The win ended the Patriots season improving them to 18-35, while Anthony Montefusco evened his season at 5-5. Tyler Mocabee finished the game for Mason, earning his first career save. The Huskies fell to 30-26 overall, as Jordan Tabakman was saddled with his second loss of the season (5-2).
The Patriots started the game with three-consecutive singles from Josh Leemhuis, Derek Evans and Blaise Fernandez to bring in one run. All three hits were smoked up the middle, including Evans’ shot that looked like a potential double play but instead bounced off the bag at second and into the outfield. After Tucker Tobin grounded out to advance both baserunners into scoring position, Duncan Satherlie delivered a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing home Evans and leaving the Mason advantage at 2-0.
Leemhuis doubled the Mason lead in the home half of the fourth, hitting a double deep to left center to bring in two runs and leave the scoreboard at 4-0.
The middle innings were quiet for both squads, as Montefusco set down 10 consecutive Huskies from the fourth to seventh innings, and the Patriots were retired in order in both the sixth and seventh.
UConn wouldn’t go down without a fight, loading the bases with two outs in the top of the eighth before Sean Cabrera struck out LJ Mazzilli to end the threat.
The shutout made it all the way to the top of the ninth when the Huskies again loaded the bases with one out to chase Cabrera off the mound. Tyler Mocabee entered the game and gave up and RBI groundout to Eric Yavarone for the first Huskies run of the game, 4-1. After pinch hitter Stanley Paul walked, leadoff man Tom Verdi hit a bloop single to shallow center field to bring in two more runs and get UConn to within one, 4-3. However, Mocabee got Billy Ferriter to foul out down the first base line to pick up his first career save.
Leemhuis led the Patriots with a 2-for-4, two RBI showing, while Evans and Tobin both went 2-for-4. Montefusco was outstanding in seven innings of work, scattering two hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Cabrera lasted 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout, while Mocabee earned the save after 0.2 innings of work.
Verdi finished the day 2-for-5 for the Huskies with two RBI’s. Tabakman lasted just 4.0 innings allowing all four Mason runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts before the Huskies used four pitchers to close out the game.