George Mason Bests UMass Baseball, 12-7
May 2, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass baseball out-hit George Mason, 15-11, but nine walks and seven unearned runs proved costly in a 12-7 setback for the Minutemen on Friday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. The loss leaves UMass at 10-27 overall and 7-12 in the Atlantic 10, while the Patriots improve to 12-5 in conference action and 25-16 overall on the season.
George Mason began the day with a 5-0 lead after scoring one in the third and four in the fourth, all unearned. Chris Cook was hit by a pitch and came in on a groundout for the first run of the contest after going to third on a passed ball and an error. Then in the Patriots' next trip to the plate, three walks and an error forced in Ray Toto, while Cook brought home Josh Leemhuis with a sacrifice fly, and Mick Foley knocked in two more with a single up the middle.
The Minutemen took four of the runs back in the bottom half of the fourth, sending nine batters to the plate in the frame. Senior Dylan Begin, redshirt junior Adam Picard and sophomore Brandon Walsh started things off with three straight one-out singles. Walsh drove in Begin with a single to right and Picard scored on a double steal. Senior Kellen Pagel drew a two-out walk to extend the inning for redshirt junior Kyle Adie who dropped a two RBI double into right enter that closed the gap to 5-4.
However, George Mason broke the game open with five runs on four hits in the top of the sixth. The Patriots then tacked on two more in the eighth and ninth with an RBI double by Leemhuis and an RBI single by Blaise Fernandez, respectively.
UMass capped off the scoring with a three-run bottom of the ninth. Singles by senior Nick Sanford, Begin and Picard loaded the bases, while a two-out bases loaded walk forced in the squad's fifth run. Freshman Bryce Maher then sent a two-run single up the middle for his first collegiate hit.
Junior Conor LeBlanc started on the mound for the Minutemen and took the loss (2-4) as he surrendered 10 runs, four earned, on six hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Anthony Montefusco improved to 7-2 with the win for George Mason. He allowed four runs on nine hits with one walk and eight strikeouts over six innings.
Five UMass batters had multiple hits in the contest with seven of nine starters logging at least one. Begin went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Sanford finished 3-for-4 and scored once.
Fernandez led the Patriots at the plate with a 4-for-6 afternoon with two RBI. Luke Willis drove in three and Leemhuis hit 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The teams will be back in action tomorrow, May 3, with game two set for a 1 p.m. start.