Justin Bour, Fournier, Krieger all set school records
March 10, 2007
Hempstead, N.Y. - The two, three and four hitters in the George Mason baseball team's lineup have been on an unprecedented hot streak of late and each managed to either tie, set or break a school record in Saturday's 18-4 win at Hofstra, Mason's fifth straight victory and sixth-straight game scoring in double figures.
First is the second hitter in the order, junior centerfielder Chris Fournier. Entering Saturday's game, Fourier had hit safely in all 11 Mason games. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games by hitting three home runs, becoming just the third Mason player to go yard three times in a single contest. Nick Shimer was the first to do so in 2003 and Fournier's teammate, Justin Bour, accomplished the task earlier this week.
Then there's three-hole hitter Scott Krieger. The sophomore leftfielder broke his own school record by homering for the fifth straight game. He entered the contest tied for the team lead in home runs, with six, and RBI, with 20. Despite the multiple hits and the homer, he no longer leads the club in those two categories.
That's because of the cleanup hitter, freshman first baseman Justin Bour. Bour had his third straight multi-homer game, a school record, and also hit his third grand slam of the week. Until this week, no Mason player had ever hit more than one grand slam in the same season and Bour now has three on the year, all in the past three contests. Over the past three games, he is 10 of 16 with seven home runs, 19 RBI, nine runs and a slugging percentage better than 2.000.
The Patriots tied a school record with seven home runs on Saturday. Only twice before in more than 1,900 previous games had Mason managed seven home runs in a single game. Fournier, Justin Bour and Krieger accounted for six while Jason Bour had the other four-bagger. Those four players have 26 of Mason's 27 home runs. Last year, the Patriots managed just 39 homers in 51 games. Through 12 games, the Patriots are on pace to hit 121 home runs, which would break the school mark of 86 set by the 1985 team.
While it would be easy to focus on the tremendous hitting exploits of the Patriots, that would take too much attention away from the strong performance of Mike Modica on Saturday. The sophomore lefthander improved to 2-1 on the season, allowing just two earned runs, four total runs, in seven innings of work. It was his first win since beating then-No. 1 Clemson on Feb. 17. Jason Koziol pitched a scoreless eighth and T.J. O'Grady worked a scoreless ninth.
Mason struck first on Saturday as Jason Bour went the other way to right field for a solo home run in the second. Hofstra got the run back in the bottom of the frame on a hit batsman and back-to-back singles. In the third, Brent Weiss led off with a single and Fournier followed with his first home run of the day. It quickly became 9-1 as the Patriots scored six in the fourth. With runners on the corners and one out, Dan Palumbo's squeeze bunt scored Chris Romanow. Weiss followed with single to score Ryan Uphouse and after Krieger walked to load the bases, Bour followed with his first homer on the day.
Hofstra got a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth. Palumbo let a ball go through his legs with a runner on and a two-out single scored the pair. But Mason put the game away in the sixth. Weiss led off with a walk and Fournier followed with his second home run. Krieger then launched one out to right field, marking the fourth time this year Mason has hit back-to-back home runs. The inning wasn't over, though, as Justin Bour and Jason Bour hit back-to-back doubles and Romanow singled to make it 14-3.
Hofstra had a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 14-4 but in typical fashion, the Patriots rebounded with three in the seventh - a solo homer by Fournier and a two-run homer by Justin Bour.
As a team, the Patriots are now hitting .350 with a .609 slugging percentage. Eight of the nine regulars are batting better than .300 and Fournier, Henderson and Krieger are all batting .400 or better. Krieger, Justin Bour, Fournier and Jason Bour are all slugging better than .850.
Mason returns to action on Sunday when the Patriots conclude their three-game series at Hofstra at 1 p.m. with Dan Jaycox making his first start of the season.