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Evans Blast Lifts Baseball Over Northeastern, 3-2
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 03/17/2013

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FAIRFAX, Va. - Breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth, freshman Derek Evans blasted his first collegiate home run over the left field wall to lift the George Mason baseball team over Northeastern, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at Spuhler Field.

In the rubber match of the weekend series the Patriots evened their CAA record at 3-3 and improved to 9-10 overall, while NU dropped to 2-4 in the conference and 10-8 overall. Freshman Mark Maksimow earned his first collegiate win after throwing two innings of relief, and NU reliever Dylan Maki was saddled with the loss.

Mason wasted no time denting the scoreboard, as Tommy Vitaletti and Duncan Satherlie led off the first with consecutive hits. NU starter Kevin Ferguson got his next two batters faced to fly out, but back-to-back walks to Anthony Montefusco and Patrick Esposito allowed a run to come home and give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short lived however, as Northeastern put runners on the corners in the top of the second and John Puttress delivered an RBI sac fly to tie the score, 1-1.

It remained quiet offensively until the sixth inning, when Ray Toto and Evans put up back-to-back singles to start the home half and leave runners at the corners for Brandon Gum, who hit a fly ball to right field deep enough to score Toto and put Mason back in control, 2-1.

Again NU responded with a run of its own the next half inning to knot it at 2-2. Puttress led off with a single up the middle, advanced to scoring position on a sac bunt by Josh Treff and came home on an RBI double from Pete Castoldi.

Evans' heroics came in the bottom of the eighth as he sent the ball deep over the left field wall for his first collegiate home run, giving Mason the 3-2 lead.

NU attempted a rally in the top of the ninth. Connor Lyons led off with an infield single, stole second and advanced to third as Evans' made a diving stab to rob Puttress of an extra-base hit and get the first out. Pinch hitter Sean Lyons walked and stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but Castoldi hit a chopper back to the pitcher Maksimow, who threw home to catch Connor Lyons and Aaron Barbosa grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.

Mason starter Jake Kalish was outstanding on the mound, working 7.0 innings and scattering sixth hits, giving up two runs, three walks and two strikeouts. Maksimow allowed just one hit in his two innings with a walk and strikeout.  

Evans finished the day 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Montefusco went a perfect 2-for-2 with two walks.

Ferguson went 6.2 innings for NU, allowing two runs on eight hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. Maki allowed the game-winning run in the eighth, his only hit given up with two strikeouts.

The Patriots now await Radford in non-conference action on Tuesday at Spuhler Field.