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(Photo by George Mason Athletics)
Baseball Rallies for 5-3 Win Over Hofstra
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 03/10/2012

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FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason baseball team posted four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as it rallied to beat Hofstra, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon at Spuhler Field.

For the fourth-consecutive game the Patriots (10-4, 2-0 CAA) found themselves down early, giving up a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Hofstra outfielder Danny Poma reached on an error by Mason shortstop Jordan Hill. He advanced to second on a groundout by second baseman Matt Ford and then stole third before he was driven in by a single to right from left fielder Kenny Jackson to put the Pride (4-9, 0-2 CAA) up, 1-0.

Hofstra added two runs in the top of the second, as shortstop Dalton Rouleau hit a two out, two-RBI home run to left field to extend the lead, 3-0.

Mason scored a run in the home half of the fourth inning to pull to within two runs, 3-1. Senior outfielder Dan Schafferman led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a double to right center from senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson to leave two runners in scoring position. Next at the plate was junior outfielder Nick Allen, who hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field, allowing Schafferman to score.

Hofstra threatened to score in the top of the sixth inning as it loaded the bases with no outs. However, Mason starting pitcher Ryan Pfaeffle worked out of the jam, striking out HU outfielder Austin Nyman and getting the final two batters to line out and fly out to end the inning with no additional damage.

The bottom of the sixth inning had a similar feeling to the top half, as the Patriots loaded the bases with one out. A single to right from senior third baseman Brig Tison started the inning, but was followed by a fly out from Schafferman. However, with Helgeson at the plate and working the count Tison advanced to second on a wild pitch, leaving Hofstra to intentionally walk the strong-hitting Helgeson with a runner in scoring position.  Allen then walked to load the bases for sophomore outfielder Blaise Fernandez, who ripped an RBI single to right field to score Tison.

A hard hit single up the middle from sophomore first baseman Mick Foley drove in two more Mason runs to give the Patriots the lead (4-3) and forced a Hofstra pitching change, as starter John Tiedemann was replaced by Bryan Verbitsky. Freshman catcher Ray Toto struck out swinging, but Hill drove in the final run of the inning as he lined one to right center to bring home Fernandez and give Mason the 5-3 lead.

Redshirt junior Chris O'Grady came on in the top of the seventh inning and held Hofstra at bay as the Patriots earned the win and guaranteed their first conference series win since the 2010 season.

Pfaeffle earned his second win of the season, going 6.0 innings with five hits, three unearned runs, four walks and four strikeouts. O'Grady worked 3.0 innings of relief, giving up just one hit while walking three and striking out four en route to his fourth save.

Foley led Mason at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI's. Helgeson (1-for-2), Fernandez (1-for-4) and Hill (1-for-4) each finished with one RBI.

Tiedemann threw 5.1 innings for Hofstra, giving up four hits and five earned runs while walking four and striking out six. The Pride received an RBI each from Rouleau (1-for-3) and Jackson (1-for-5).

Mason will look to sweep the series against Hofstra tomorrow, with the game time slated for 1:00 pm.


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