FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason baseball team (28-19, 14-8) split Sunday’s doubleheader with Saint Joseph’s, falling 9-0 in the first game and defeat the Hawks (32-12, 17-6) 2-1 in game two in the final home games of the season at Spuhler Field on Sunday.
The Patriots notch their 28th win of the season in the backend of Sunday’s doubleheader, 14th in Atlantic 10 play. The victory also allows Mason to clinch a spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament beginning in two weeks.
Saint Joseph’s was able to shutout Mason in game one of the day, holding the Patriots to five hits while scoring nine runs on 15. Jordan Carter earned his ninth win of the season as he pitched six and two-thirds scoreless innings to pace the shutout. Jared Gaynor fell to 7-4 in the loss, allowing a season-high six earned runs while walking one batter and striking out four.
The Hawks began the scoring with four runs in the top of the third on five hits, using three singles and one double to plate all four runs with no outs in the inning. Saint Joseph’s added three more in the top of the fifth that included three more singles with no outs recorded. They added the final two in the top of the sixth on a two singles and one double for nine in the game.
Mason’s best chance in game one game in the bottom of the fourth when Tucker Tobin and Chris Cook singled with one out in the innings however the Hawks were able to get out of the jam. Pitching in relief of Gaynor were seniors Steven Ball, Rich McMahon, Neight Hoffa and Michael Bowie, combining to throw the final three innings of scoreless baseball. Mark Maksimow directly relieved Gaynor with one out in the fifth, allowing two earned runs to score on three hits.
The Patriots broke a 19-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the fourth in game two to take its first lead of the series. Senior Blaise Fernandez singled up the middle with one out, followed by a walk from Tobin to move him to second. After Cook walked to load the bases, redshirt senior Anthony Montefusco stepped and delivered a two-strike, two-out, two-run RBI single up the middle to give Mason the 2-0 lead and all the run support it would need.
John Williams made his eighth start of the year in the second game of the day, throwing the first seven scoreless innings, walking three and allowing only three hits with two strikeouts. He was replaced by Tyler Zombro, who tossed a perfect eighth inning before getting in and out of trouble in the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
Saint Joseph’s began their half of the ninth inning when an off-target throw from Brandon Gum allowed DH Tommy Cunningham to reach base. With one out in the inning Stefan Kancylarz, John Brue and Taylor Boyd each singled to bring home one unearned run and load the bases. Zombro allowed a hard-hit ball up the middle by Cal Jadacki in the next at bat, however Cook was able to make diving stab and start the game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Patriots play their final regular season series of the season on the road against Dayton. Game one is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 15 and the series will run through Saturday, May 17.