BOSTON - The George Mason baseball team scored three runs in the
second inning and never again trailed, holding off Northeastern, 7-5, to even
their Colonial Athletic Association series at one-all on Saturday afternoon at
Friedman Diamond. Mason (24-12, 10-7 CAA) captured its 10th conference
victory through timely hitting and strong relief pitching, holding the Huskies
(14-16, 4-10) to just one run and two hits over the final four innings.
Chris O'Grady added to his league-leading total after he
pitched a scoreless ninth inning, garnering his 10th save of the
year. It preserved the victory for Ryan Pfaeffle (4-3), who started and tossed
five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. NU starter Kevin Ferguson (4-3)
was saddled with the loss after allowing the first five runs in five innings of
NU got on the board first, scoring Matt Miller after he
singled with two outs and crossed the plate on a Jon Leroux double down the
left field line. Mason found a quick answer, as Jake Leonardo placed a double
down the left field line which scored Zack Helgeson after earning a leadoff
walk. Two more runs came home after Nick Allen's double to right field brought
in Leonardo and Blaise Fernandez.
The 3-1 margin stayed intact until the top of the fifth,
after Helgeson doubled to left to score Brig Tison, who hit a one-out single
through the gap on the left side. Dan Schafferman, who also lined a base hit
through the left side, came home to make it 5-1 after he scored on Anthony
Montefusco's sacrifice fly to left.
NU sliced the margin to just one run in the bottom half, as
Jason Vosler found a hole in the outfield between Josh Leemhuis and Allen in
left-center, clearing the bases on a three-RBI double. In the seventh, the Patriots found their
response, with Montefusco's second sacrifice fly of the day scoring Schafferman
after he blasted a leadoff triple to right field, making the score 6-4.
The final Huskies run came in the home half of the seventh,
a Vosler single through the left side which scored Puttress. It was charged as
unearned after a dropped foul ball, and it was the only run given up by Jake
Kalish in a three-inning, two-hit relief outing.
Mason tacked on an insurance run in the eight h inning, with
Allen leading off with a single through the right side, moving over to third on
a Chris Cook sacrifice and a stolen base. He crossed the plate on Tison's fly
out to right field, making the score 7-5.
After an inning-ending double play was turned by the
Patriots in the bottom of the eighth, Mason was retired in order before O'Grady
allowed just one walk in the ninth, finishing off the win.
The Patriots will look to win the series when they meet the
Huskies Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the rubber game.