ARLINGTON, Va. – Jared Gaynor picks up his fifth victory of the season and Mick Foley and Jordan Hill each drive in two runs to lead the George Mason baseball team (16-10) in a 7-3 win over George Washington (8-19) on Saturday afternoon.
The Patriots also improve to 4-2 in conference play while George Washington drops to 2-6. Gaynor’s record improves to 5-2, tied with teammate Anthony Montefusco for the team and conference lead.
Gaynor had an uncharacteristic start to his day on the mound, allowing a season-high three earned runs to score on four hits in the second inning, three of them never leaving the infield. They would however be the only runs surrendered in the ballgame as the lefty settled into a rhythm afterwards to allow five additional hits in the final six frames of his day. Gaynor struck out four batters and walked one, throwing 98 pitches over eight innings of work.
Mason was held hitless through the first three innings but the bats woke up in the fourth when four runs came across on four hits. The Patriots opened the inning with three consecutive hits; doubles from Blaise Fernandez and Ray Toto along with a single from Josh Leemhuis. A sacrifice fly from Montefusco made it a 3-2 ballgame before Foley bombed a triple into right field to bring home both base runners, his first of the season to give Mason the 4-3 lead. Fernandez went 3-5 on the day and Toto 2-5 to increase his team-leading batting average to .361.
Gaynor sat down the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings, leading to one more run in the seventh and two in the eighth for Mason to put the game out of reach. Colonials’ starting pitcher John Williams exited the game after six innings and was replaced by RHP Eddie Muhl who allowed the final three runs to score.
Foley led off the seventh with a single up the middle and wisely bolted for second after a miscue by GW’s centerfielder. He was brought home by a Fernandez single later in the inning to make the score 5-3, his team-leading 19th RBI of the year. Jordan Hill provided the two insurance runs after coming in as a defensive substitution, lining a single up the middle in the eighth inning in his only at-bat of the game for RBIs two and three of the season. Mark Maksimow tossed a perfect ninth inning to preserve the win.
The series will be decided on Sunday, April 6 at noon in Barcroft Park. The winner of tomorrow’s game will also break the 6-6 tie in the Revolutionary Rivalry and put their respective school ahead in the competition.