RICHMOND, Va. - Junior outfielder Nick Allen's three-run
home run in the top of the ninth secured a 12-10 come-from-behind victory for
the George Mason baseball team over the University of Richmond on Tuesday
afternoon at Pitt Field.
Trailing 8-1 after four innings, the Patriots (11-5) scored
three runs in the top of the fifth, five runs in the top of the eighth and
three runs in the top of the ninth to snap Richmond's 11-game winning streak.
Mason scored three runs in the top of the fifth to spark the
rally. Pinch hitter Tommy Vitaletti led off the inning with a walk before
another pinch hitter, Andrew Sable, struck out. Senior third baseman Brig Tison
reached on a fielder's choice and both he and Vitaletti advanced an extra base
on a throwing error by Richmond second baseman Adam Forrer to leave two runners
in scoring position. Senior outfielder Dan Schafferman drove home Vitaletti as
he ground out to the shortstop to leave the score at 8-2, and senior designated
hitter Zack Helgeson scored the final two Mason runs as he belted a line drive
to deep left field for his team-leading sixth home run of the season.
UR added a single run each in the fifth and sixth innings,
extending its lead to 10-4.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Mason bats came alive
in the top of the eighth. With one out pinch hitter Anthony Montefusco singled
up the middle, freshman catcher Ray Toto walked and Vitaletti lined a shot
through the right side to load the bases. Allen drove in a run as he was hit by
a pitch, and Tison followed with a line drive right down the third base line to
drive in two more runs to leave the scoreboard at 10-7. Schafferman brought
home his second run of the game on a groundout and after Helgeson was
intentionally walked redshirt sophomore Josh Leemhuis registered the final
Mason run of the inning, singling to center to bring Mason to within one run,
The Patriots grabbed the lead in their half of the ninth
inning off of Allen's home run. With one out Toto walked and Vitaletti singled
up the middle to put two runners on for Allen, who hit his first home run of
the season to center field to complete the rally and give the Patriots the
final 12-10 margin.
Mason took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning,
but ended up trailing after UR put up six runs in the bottom of the third
inning. The Spiders received RBI hits from catcher Bryan Conway, outfielder
Eric Flanagan, outfielder Matt Zink in the inning.
Outfielder Phil Ruzbarsky hit a solo shot to center and Eric
Flanagan hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to push the Spider lead to 8-1
before Mason began its rally.
Allen finished the day 1-for-1 at the plate with four RBI's
and two runs scored. Schafferman was 3-for-6 with three RBI's, and Tison
(1-for-5) and Helgeson (1-for-3) each added two RBI's.
Sophomore Jake Kalish (3-0) earned the win in 2.0 innings of
relief, giving up one hit with two walks and two strikeouts. Starter Brandon Kuter was left with a no decision after 2.2 innings of work with four hits, four earned runs, one walk and seven strikeouts. Branden Bartlett and Rich McMahon both had a relief appearance for the Patriots. Bartlett went 2.1 innings with four hits, five runs (three earned) and four walks while McMahon worked 2.0 innings with four hits, one run and one strikeout.
Mayers led the Spiders at the plate, going 2-for-6 with
three RBI's and one run. Andrew Brockett (0-2) took the loss in 1.0 innings of
relief with three hits, three earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts.
The Patriots return to action tomorrow, traveling to
Longwood for a 3:00 pm contest.