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
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.