FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason baseball team took an early
lead and thwarted a late George Washington rally as the Patriots beat the
Colonials, 5-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Spuhler Field.
Mason (13-9) wasted no time taking the lead, as it assumed
the lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, seniors Brig Tison
and Dan Schafferman hit consecutive singles to leave runners on first and
second. After a strikeout by senior designated hitter Zack Helgeson, redshirt
sophomore outfielder Josh Leemhuis hit a line drive through the right side. The
GW defense attempted to throw out Tison at home on the Leemhuis hit but the
ball got away from catcher Jimmy Best, allowing both Tison and Schafferman to score
for a 2-0 advantage.
The Colonials (6-14) registered a run in the top of the
third inning, but Mason added two runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth
to extend the lead, 4-1. Leemhuis led off the inning with a triple and crossed
home plate on a hard-hit single up the middle by sophomore outfielder Blaise
Fernandez. Sophomore first baseman Mick Foley was hit by a pitch, and both
Fernandez and Foley advanced a base after a sacrifice bunt by freshman catcher
Ray Toto. Sophomore Jordan Hill followed with a sacrifice fly to score
Fernandez for the final Patriot run of the inning.
Helgeson hit his conference-leading ninth home run of the
season deep to left field in the bottom of the seventh, pushing the Mason lead
to 5-1 before GW registered three runs in the top of the eighth inning to pull
to within a run, 5-4. With the bases loaded and two out GW outfielder Tyler
McCarthy walked, bringing in a run. After a Mason pitching change,
outfielder Ryan Hickey singled to left field, bringing in two runs and leaving
runners on first and second. However, Patriot relief pitcher Neight Hoffa got GW
shortstop Matthew Murakami to fly out to end the inning and the Colonial rally.
Freshman John Williams threw his longest start of the
season, going 7.0 innings and scattering six hits with one run, two walks and
seven strikeouts. Redshirt sophomore Sean Cabrera (0.2 IP, 2H, 3R, 2BB, 1K) and
Hoffa (0.1 IP, 1H) each threw in relief, and sophomore Jake Kalish earned his
third save after pitching the ninth inning and giving up one hit while striking
Leemhuis finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with one run
scored and one RBI, while Helgeson extended his on-base streak to 15 games with
a 2-for-4, one run, one RBI performance.
GW starter J.T. Wauford took the loss, working 6.0 innings
with four hits, three runs (one earned), one walk and five strikeouts.
Hickey was the top performer at the plate for GW, hitting
2-for-4 with two RBI's.
The Patriots return to action on Friday, hosting the Tribe
of William & Mary in a CAA weekend series.