Baseball Falls in Home Opener
Feb. 28, 2006
The George Mason baseball team played its home opener on Tuesday afternoon and for the first time since 2000, Patriot fans left Spuhler Field disappointed after a home opener, as Georgetown beat Mason for just the second time in the past nine tries. Ryan Craft was 2 for 3 with seven RBI on a pair of home runs as the Hoyas downed Mason, 12-7.
The Hoyas scored four runs in the first, four in the second and four in the sixth responding to every Mason rally with runs of their own as Georgetown improved to 5-3 while Mason fell to 3-6. The Patriots had won three straight against Georgetown but the Hoyas weren't to be denied on Tuesday, pounding out 15 hits and taking advantage of a pair of Mason errors.
In the first, Mark McLaughlin and Matt Bouchard led off with singles off starter J.J. Pannell and Timmy Jones walked to load the bases. Ryan Craft was hit by a pitch to plate the first run of the afternoon. Drew Dargen followed with a single to left to make it 3-0 and Matt Johnson's single to right made it 4-0.
The Patriots used a pair of hits in the bottom of the first to trim into the lead. Robby Jacobsen hit a one-out solo homer to left, making it 4-1, and Casey Slattery hit a one-out solo homer to right, making it 4-2.
The Hoyas extended the lead in the second off Mason reliever Brent Hitz. After a strikeout to start his afternoon, he gave up a single to McLaughlin and Bouchard reached on a throwing error. Jones singled to load the bases and Craft hit a grand slam to left to make it 8-2.
Mason finally got back on the board in the fifth, as Jacobsen and Slattery hit doubles to make it 8-3. Slattery came home to score on a Ryan Uphouse double to cut the lead to 8-4.
Once again, the Hoyas responded immediately, this time off reliever Billy Tinsley. McLaughlin reached on a three-base fielding error by Scott Krieger to start the inning and he scored on a Jones single. Craft then homered to make it 11-4. The damage wasn't done, however, as Dargen and Brandon Davis hit back-to-back doubles to make it 12-4.
Mason scored its final runs in the eighth. Uphouse led off with a single and Tyler Youngs and Matt York were hit by pitches to load the bases. Brent Weiss walked to score a run and with two outs, Scott Krieger singled to make it 12-6. A wild pitch made it 12-7 and Mason nearly added three more runs but the wind blew in on Slattery's deep drive to right-center field, allowing McLaughlin to settle under it and end the inning. Mason went quietly in the ninth.
Stephen Burns (2-0) earned the win for Georgetown, allowing four runs, all earned on six hits and six walks in six innings. He did not strike out a batter. J.J. Pannell (0-2) took the loss for the Patriots, allowing four runs on four hits in one inning.
Mason returns to action on Wednesday when the Patriots host Coppin State at 2:30 p.m.