PANTHERSVILLE, Ga. - In a wild game that featured a little of everything, the George Mason baseball team earned its first CAA victory of the
season topping Georgia State, 14-13, on Friday evening at the GSU Baseball
Lasting almost four hours, the game saw the teams combine for 27 runs, 37 hits and six errors.
Mason kicked off its conference season with the win while
improving to 7-5 overall. GSU dropped to 9-6 overall and 0-1 in the CAA. Taylor
Hunt earned his first win as a Patriot, working 1.1 innings of relief, while
Matt Rose took the loss for GSU.
The high-scoring affair saw both teams register runs in the
first inning. Senior Nick Allen started the CAA season with a single up the
middle and two batters later came home as junior Tucker Tobin found a gap in
deep left field, allowing Allen to score all the way from first and put the
Patriots up, 1-0. Blaise Fernandez followed that up with a double to left of
his own, bringing in Tobin and extending the lead to 2-0.
GSU wasted no time tying the game, leading off with two
consecutive singles and a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position
for first baseman Matt Rose, who lined a single through the right side to leave
the scoreboard at 2-2. Two more runs came in for the Panthers in the first, as
Mark Hogan connected on an RBI double and Nic Wilson hit a sac fly to left to
give the home team the lead, 4-2.
The Panthers added one more run in the second with a sac fly
by Chris Triplett to push their lead to 5-2, but the Patriots pulled back to
within two runs in the top of the third on a sac fly by Tobin to leave the
score at 5-3.
Mason grabbed the lead in the fourth, as freshman Brandon
Gum, Allen, sophomore Tommy Vitaletti, Tobin and Fernandez all registered RBI
hits to put the Patriots up, 8-5. It was a short lived advantage, as GSU capitalized
on two Mason errors in the home half of the fourth to bring in three runs and
tie the game at 8-8.
Mason grabbed back the lead in the fifth, as Allen hit a
bases-loaded sac fly to center to give Mason a 9-8 advantage, but again the
Panthers responded with two runs of their own in the home half of the inning to
take back the lead, 10-9.
A GSU error proved costly for the home team in the sixth, as
pitcher Brantley Burton mishandled a hit by Satherlie, throwing high to first
base where Rose couldn't come down with it in time, allowing Satherlie to
reach. Tobin then stepped to the plate and drilled a ball to straightaway
center for his fifth home run of the season to again push the Patriots ahead,
Building on their lead in the eighth, Fernandez brought in
two more runs with a double down the left field line, extending the Mason
advantage to 13-10, but the Panthers had four players cross home plate in the
bottom of the eighth, tying the game at 13-13.
It wasn't until the ninth inning when the Patriots grabbed
the lead for good, as Gum led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed
ball and took third on a single by Vitaletti. Satherlie then stepped to the
plate and popped up to short, but GSU shortstop Chad Prain missed the catch,
allowing Satherlie to reach safely and Gum to score, giving the Patriots the
final 14-13 margin.
The Panthers put a base runner on in the bottom of the
ninth, but pinch hitter Joey Roach grounded into a double play to end the game.
Five Patriots recorded multiple hits, led by a 3-for-4, five
RBI performance from Tobin, and Fernandez finishing 4-for-6 with four RBI's.
Starter Jared Gaynor went 4.1 innings, allowing 10 runs (8 earned) on 12 hits
with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Patriots and Panthers face each other again tomorrow at