FAIRFAX, Va. – Redshirt senior Anthony Montefusco
paced the way on the mound and Blaise Fernandez
added three hits and two RBI as the George Mason baseball team (12-7) defeated the Fordham Rams (7-10) for the program’s inaugural Atlantic 10 conference win on Friday afternoon.
Mason’s 12th win of the season is also Montefusco’s fourth victory of the season. The right hander threw seven innings, allowing only two hits and one run with two walks while dealing 10 strikeouts to increase his already conference leading total to 39. Fordham’s Cody Johnson took the loss and fell to 1-2, pitching the first six innings and allowing five earned runs on eight hits.
The Patriots scored the first two runs of the ballgame in the third inning and now improve to 10-3 when scoring the first runs of the game. Fernandez led off the third with a single to left field and eventually stole second base, his first steal of the season. Montefusco then helped his own cause with a double into right field two batters later, giving Mason the 1-0 lead. An errant throw by the Fordham shortstop on a Ray Toto
grounder would bring home Montefusco for a 2-0 advantage.
Montefusco stayed strong on the mound through the middle stages of the game, striking out three batters in both the second and seventh innings while retiring 10 consecutive batters between the third and sixth innings. The Rams managed to score one of their two runs in the top of the sixth on a Rob McCunney double into left field.
The Patriots broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh, scoring five runs on five hits to increase the lead to 7-1. Fernandez led off with a doubled followed by two bunt singles from Tucker Tobin
and Josh Leemhuis
to load the bases. Montefusco walked in the next at bat for his second RBI of the day while Toto and Chris Cook
each singled into right center field to drive in three more runs. Luke Willis
capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center.
Fordham tightened the game in the eighth and ninth innings, plating three more runs off the arm of Taylor Hunt
. Hunt threw one and one-third innings, allowing the three runs on three hits with one strikeout. Sophomore Mark Maksimow
came on in relief in the ninth to force the final two outs.
The Patriots and Rams continue the weekend series on Saturday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m. Jared Gaynor
will make the start for Mason while Fordham will send right hander Brett Kennedy.