FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason baseball team played two one-run games on Wednesday afternoon vs. Cornell, coming away with a 2-1 victory in game one and falling 3-2 in the bottom half of the doubleheader at Spuhler Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriots move to 15-9 after the win and loss, 6-3 in one-run games while Cornell remains even at 10-10 this season. The Big Red also played a doubleheader versus conference opponent Harvard yesterday.
Both games were scheduled for seven innings and Mason came away with the first of the day behind the return of Jake Kalish to the mound. The Shrewsbury, N.J. native made his first start since undergoing surgery last season and flourished, pitching five innings as he struck out five batters and allowed only one hit to improve to 1-0. Tim Willittes was the opposing start for the Big Red and pitched four and one-third innings while allowing four walks and both runs for the Patriots, falling to 0-1. Both teams recorded only three hits per side in the ballgame.
The big inning for Mason in game one came in the fifth when Blaise Fernandez hit a one-out, two-run double to for his team leading 12th double of the season and his 16th and 17th RBI of the year, scoring Mick Foley and Brandon Gum. The two-bagger also broke a tie with Mason alum Ryan Soares for the most doubles in program history, which Fernandez now holds with 61 in his career at Mason.
Tyler Zombro relieved Kalish in the sixth inning and allowed Cornell’s only run of the game, however the 2-1 lead would hold when Mark Maksimow appeared in the ninth to convert his fifth save of the season.
The Big Red started the scoring in the night cap when they used a lead-off double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly in the third inning for an early 1-0 lead off starting pitcher Michael Bowie. The senior threw the first four and one-third innings and allowed all three runs on four hits as he struck out one batter.
Cornell would improve its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth on two singles and the lead would be enough to give Roberto Suppa his first victory of the season. Suppa gave up one run on two hits in four innings pitched. He surrendered his only run in the bottom of the inning when Jordan Hill grounded out to short with the bases loaded to make the score 3-1 after five.
Mason tightened up the game in the sixth after an error brought home Tucker Tobin from third, who got on base after doubling to left field. The Green and Gold would be unable to come any closer after Kellen Urbon entered the game in the bottom of the sixth to pitch a perfect one and one-third innings for his second save of the season and the 3-2 Big Red victory.
The Patriots resume Atlantic 10 conference play and continue the Revolutionary Rivalry with a weekend series against George Washington in Arlington, Va. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. with live stats and audio available.