Patriots Spot No. 5 Virginia Eight Runs in the First, Fall 17-6
March 27, 2007
Charlottesville, Va. - The George Mason baseball team faced one of the nation's top teams on Tuesday, and there was little doubt going into the contest that the Patriots would need to play almost perfect baseball to have a chance to beat No. 5 Virginia. They didn't come close as Mason made two errors and the Patriot pitchers walked six and hit two batters. Six of those eight runners who reached on free passes scored and half of those came while Mason was spotting the Cavaliers eight runs in the first as the Patriots fell to Virginia, 17-6 in Charlottesville. It was Mason's first trip to Davenport Field since the 2004 NCAA Regional.
Freshman Kris Mengle made the first start of his career and it did not go well. All eight batters he faced reached base and they all scored. Tyler Cannon led off with a single, Brandon Marsh and Sean Doolittle walked and David Adams reached on an infield single to make it 1-0. Brandon Guyer followed with his second home run of the year, a grand slam over the leftfield fence. Patrick Wingfield quickly singled, Ryan Hudson walked and Mengle hit John Scaglione, ending the freshman righthander's afternoon. Jack Zeltner came on in relief and got the first out, a sacrifice fly that scored Wingfield and allowed Hudson to go to third. Hudson scored on a ground out and Scaglione came home on a single to right by Marsh. After Doolittle walked, Adams flew out to center to end the inning.
Mason (11-12) scored its first run in the second when Chris Romanow hit a one-out double to left-center and Jason Bour followed with a single to right-center to make it 8-1. Virginia quickly got the run back as Guyer was hit by a pitch to lead off the second, Hudson doubled to left and Guyer scored on Scaglione's grounder to short. Hudson came home for a 10-2 lead on Mitchell's single to center. Mason had a chance to get runs back in the third when Dan Palumbo led off with a single and Brent Weiss was hit by a pitch but Spencer Wiggins flew out to right and Weiss strayed too far off the bag at first resulting in a double play. Chris Fournier grounded out to end the inning.
After finally holding Virginia (23-5) scoreless in a half inning, Mason put another run on the board in the fourth. Scott Krieger led off with an infield single, Romanow followed with a hit up the middle and Bour doubled down the rightfield line to make it 10-2. But Neal Davis settled down, striking out Mike Laird, getting Ryan Uphouse to foul out to right and Palumbo to pop out to right.
Once again the Cavaliers responded immediately as Hudson tripled to lead off the inning and scored on Scaglione's single to left. After a failed pickoff allowed Scaglione to advance to second, he scored on Mitchell's single to center. Cannon followed with a single to left and Zeltner's evening was over. Darren McLean came on in relief and he nearly got a double play on his first pitch and did get one on his second to end the inning without any more runs scoring.
In the fifth, the Patriots put another run on the board as Wiggins had a one-out single, stole second, went to third on a single by Fournier and came home on a ground out by Krieger. As usual, Virginia answered by not just getting the runs back, but by extending its lead in the bottom of the inning. Adams and Guyer led off with singles to put runners on the corner and Adams came home on Wingfield's sacrifice fly. Scaglione doubled with two outs and Mitchell followed with a single up the middle to make it 15-3.
In the sixth, Laird was hit by a pitch with one out, he stole second and went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a bloop single to left by Palumbo. Not surprisingly, the Cavaliers scored in the bottom of the frame off reliever Benji Kagan. Cannon walked to lead off the inning, went to second on a single, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Doolittle. In the seventh, Guyer led off with a double, went to third on a single by Wingfield and scored on a double play. Mason loaded the bases in the ninth and scored two runs on a ground out and throwing error but that still left Mason with an 11-run deficit.
The Patriots return to action on Wednesday when they host Liberty at 2:30 p.m.