FAIRFAX, Va. – Senior Jared Gaynor tossed his second complete game of the season, Blaise Fernandez added two more doubles and the defense played on its heels in the 6-0 shutout victory over the Fordham Rams (7-11, 0-2) at Spuhler Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Patriots improve to 13-7 in their first 20 games this season, 2-0 in conference play after defeating the Rams on Friday 7-4. Fordham loses its first two conference games of the season and falls to 7-11.
The strong effort came behind the arm of Gaynor, who threw his first nine-inning shutout of the season in the win. The left-hander allowed five hits and one walk in the affair while striking out four batters. The performance was Gaynor’s second complete game of the season and his third allowing zero earned runs to give him his sixth quality start of 2014.
Mason only needed to provide one supporting run for Gaynor, which came in the second inning. Anthony Montefusco and Josh Leemhuis led off the inning to put runners on first and third before Tucker Tobin grounded into a double play that brought home Montefusco from third. The hit from Leemhuis extends his hitting streak to nine games along with Brandon Gum, who went 2-5 in the win.
Chris Cook led off the third inning with a single, part of a three-hit day for him as two more runs came across in the frame. After stealing second, Gum came to the plate two batters later and hit a grounder to the second baseman that made an errant throw to first, allowing Cook to score on the play and advancing Gum to second. Fernandez then proceeded with the first of two RBI doubles on the day, driving in Gum for the 3-0 lead.
Fernandez now leads the team with 15 RBI and 14 extra base hits.
The Patriots plated their final three runs in the fifth inning, connected on two singles and two doubles to do so. Fernandez brought home Gum for a second time with a double to left centerfield after Gum led off the fifth with a single. Leemhuis doubled home Fernandez two batters later and Ray Toto used a single to drive home Leemhuis. Mason recorded 14 hits to score its six runs.
The defense was also on point for the Patriots playing error-free ball and making several run-saving plays. Willis made two effort plays in centerfield to prevent extra bases while Fernandez snagged several hard-hit grounders at third, one of them to end the ballgame. Gaynor forced 12 groundouts in the victory.
The Patriots and Rams play the final game of the series on Sunday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m.