FAIRFAX,Va. – The George Mason baseball team (9-5) came away with a 9-4 victory in game one before falling 6-1 in game two to Fairfield (3-5) as both teams collected one win in Sunday’s doubleheader at Spuhler Field.
The bats came alive in game number one of the day with nine runs and fifteen hits on the stat sheet for the Patriots. Mason would score the first two of the ballgame; Blaise Fernandez came around score on a throwing error by Fairfield’s third baseman in the first inning and Luke Willis was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second for the early lead. Willis had a total of four RBI on the afternoon, three in game one.
Senior LHP Jared Gaynor made his fifth start of the season in game one, holding the Stags scoreless through the first three innings before they put one run on the board in the fourth. Gaynor finished the day with another quality start, pitching six innings and allowing the one run on four hits. He also struck out six batters while walking four before he exited the game with a 3-1 lead. Willis issued a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth to put the Patriots up 3-1.
Fairfield would take the lead for the first time in the ballgame in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on one hit in the inning. The lead would only last for the half inning, as Mason would equal Fairfield with three runs of its own in the bottom half.
Freshman Jayme Murray singled up the middle with one out in the seventh to put a man on and Tucker Tobin followed up with a single of his own. Ray Toto was the next man up and dealt a third straight single off of Anthony DiMauro to tie up the game at four. After a pitching change, Josh Leemhuis hit the fourth consecutive single of the inning into right center field, scoring Tobin and putting Mason up 5-4.
Willis’ third RBI of the game, a double to left center, gave the Patriots a two-run cushion after seven. Tobin and Leemhuis each went 3-5 from the plate in game one with the pair each scoring three times.
Insurance runs came in the eighth inning when Tucker Tobin and Ray Toto connected on back-to-back homeruns to left field, Tobin’s a two-run shot for their first of the season. The 9-4 lead would hold when Taylor Hunt came in to finish off the ninth inning. Rich McMahon received the victory in the contest after pitching 1.1 innings in relief, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Tobin now leads the team with 11 RBI this season.
Fairfield’s bats were ready for the second game of the day, putting up six runs on 10 hits in seven innings in the series-deciding game. Tyler Zombro made his second start of the season, giving up five runs on eight hits in his first loss of the season. Aaron Howell picked up the win for the Stags in five innings pitched, allowing one run on four hits.
Fairfield scored in five of the seven innings in game two, the Patriots scoring once in the bottom of the third. Willis hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that brought home Patrick Esposito after he led off the inning with a single. Mason totaled four hits in the second contest with one error apiece for each club.
The Patriots travel to Chapel Hill, NC on short rest as they prepare to face the 10-5 North Carolina Tar Heels on Tuesday, March 11. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.