FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason baseball team took an early
lead but had to fight off a ninth inning Radford rally as the Patriots held on
for a 5-4 win in non-conference action Tuesday at Spuhler Field.
Mason took a 5-2 lead into the ninth inning and was able to
stave off a pesky Highlanders squad to even its season record at 10-10, while
RU dropped to 10-9. Mason starter Michael Bowie picked up his first win of the
season and John Williams earned his third save after pitching the ninth.
It was a quiet first three innings for the Patriots, and
despite putting runners on in the second and third innings, the Highlanders
were unable to capitalize on four combined Mason errors over the two innings,
leaving the scoreboard blank.
Three consecutive multi-base hits with one out for the
Patriots helped them break the scoreless tie in the fourth. Tucker Tobin led
off with a triple down the right field line, Blaise Fernandez followed with an
RBI double and Montefusco brought in another run with a double to left, giving
Mason a 2-0 lead. After Montefusco advanced to third on a wild pitch and Derek
Evans walked to put runners at the corners Josh Leemhuis laid down a hard-hit sacrifice
bunt to the first baseman who was forced to tag Leemhuis while Montefusco came
home to add to the lead, 3-0. The final Mason run crossed home plate on an RBI
double down the left field line to put the Patriots ahead, 4-0.
Radford responded in the top of the fifth, putting two
runners on with two outs before as Zach Woolcock and Alexander Lee connected on
back-to-back singles to bring in two runs and cut the Mason advantage in half,
The Patriots got one of those runs back in the bottom of the
inning as Duncan Satherlie led off with a single that bounced off the leg of RU
pitcher Dylan Nelson and scored all the way from first on a double to the left
field corner by Tobin, putting the Mason advantage back at three runs, 5-2.
Making it interesting in the top of the ninth, Radford
pounced on Williams early with a double by Josh Gardiner, Josh Reavis walk and
an RBI single by Jeff Kemp to pull to within two, 5-3. Williams got his next
batter faced to fly out before Woolcock singled past a diving Tobin at first to
bring in another run and inch the Highlanders closer, 5-4. However, Williams
worked out of the jam getting his final two batters to ground out and fly out
to pick up the save.
Bowie worked 4.0 scorless innings for the Patriots, allowing
just two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Tyler Mocabee came on in relief of
Bowie, throwing 1.0 inning and giving up two runs on three hits with a walk and
strikeout. Chris Payne struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth,
while Taylor Hunt threw two scoreless innings of relief with one hit and a
All five Mason RBI's came from different players, led by a
3-for-4 performance by Fernandez. Tobin and Toto both finished 2-for-4 with an
RBI, while Montefusco was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Leemhuis went 0-for-3 with
the final RBI.
RU starter Dylan Nelson took the loss to even his record at
2-2 after throwing 3.2 innings and giving up four runs on five hits with a walk
and a strikeout. Woolcock paced the offense with a 2-for-4, two RBI performance
at the plate.
The Patriots wrap up their eight-game homestand this
weekend, hosting the Dukes of James Madison in CAA action at Spuhler Field.