FAIRFAX, Va. – After eight and a half scoreless innings, Blaise Fernandez skied a Scott Burkett pitch inches inside the left field foul pole to send the George Mason baseball team (27-17, 13-6) to a walk-off, 2-0 victory over Longwood (20-28) at Spuhler Field on Tuesday afternoon.
Brandon Gum led off the ninth in the 0-0 ballgame with a single into left field and was followed by Fernandez’s second homerun of the season, both coming at home. The Patriots were held to two hits before the pair in the ninth inning in a brisk one hour and forty nine minute contest. Burkett suffers his second loss of the season after allowing the homerun.
Tyler Zombro earns his fifth win of the season after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth, the sixth Patriot pitcher on the afternoon. The team of Jake Kalish, Mark Maksimow, Steven Ball, Evan Porcella, Taylor Hunt and Zombro held Longwood to zero runs and nine hits for the teams’ ninth shutout this season.
The Lancers had leadoff men reach base in five of the nine innings with none coming around to score. Longwood put a man on third in the top of the seventh however he was stranded after Hunt dealt back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Kalish pitched the first inning of the day, giving up two consecutive singles but retiring the next three batters to get out of the first. Maksimow followed with two innings of one-hit ball and was relieved by Ball in the fourth, who also pitched two innings of one-hit baseball. Porcella threw a perfect sixth before Hunt gave up no runs on four hits in the seventh and eighth with a team-high three strikeouts. The combination, including Zombro, issued only one walk and struck out eight Lancers.
Gum had half of the Patriot hits in the game, bunt a ball down the third base line in the sixth along with his leadoff single in the ninth. Mason was held hitless through the first four innings, a streak broken by Tucker Tobin’s single in the top of the fifth. Gum went 2-4 while Tobin went 1-2 with a walk.
The Patriots host their final opponent of 2014 this weekend when first place Saint Joseph’s visits Fairfax beginning on Friday, May 9 at 3:00 p.m. Youth Baseball Day is on Saturday, May 10 followed by Senior Day on Sunday, May 11.