Patriots Fall at Maryland, 9-5
April 2, 2008
College Park, Md. - The George Mason baseball team surrendered a pair of runs to Maryland in the bottom of the seventh and another pair in the eighth as Maryland broke open a tie game and took a 9-5 win over Mason in non-conference baseball action at Shipley Field in College Park, Md.
Kris Mengle pitched five and one-third strong innings for the Patriots (12-15) but got a no-decision. Justin Bour was 3 for 3 with two RBI. He entered the week fifth in the nation in RBI and he had two to raise his Colonial Athletic Association-leading total to 42 on the year. Bour also raised his batting average to .442.Shane Davis was also had a pair of RBI for Mason. Chad Durakis was 3 for 3 for Maryland (16-13) while Joe Palumbo had a pair of RBI.
The Patriots got on the board in the top of the first as Spencer Wiggins led off with a single, went to second on a walk by Chris Henderson, advanced to third on a Scott Krieger fly out to center and scored on a Justin Bour single to left. But with runners on first and second and one out, Mason was unable to add to the lead.
The Terrapins tied the score in the second. Nick Jowers led off with a single but was out on second when Will Greenberg grounded into a fielder's choice. Greenberg went to third on a Durakis single and scored on A.J. Casario's grounder to second, which was nearly an inning-ending double play. Instead the inning remained alive and two Maryland batters walked to load the bases before Jensen Pupa grounded out to first to end the threat.
Maryland took the lead in the third when, with two outs and Jowers on first, Greenberg hit a high popup down the leftfield line that shortstop Brent Weiss dropped, allowing Jowers to score and Greenberg to go to third. Greenberg scored on a Durakis double to make it 3-1. Mason threatened in the fourth as Bour singled, Shane Davis walked and Mark Hill was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out by Ryan Uphouse struck out and Brent Weiss grounded out to keep it a two-run game.
The Patriots rallied to tie the score in the sixth. Bour and Ryan Soares walked to lead off the inning and Davis broke out of a 2 for 16 skid with a double off the wall in the leftfield corner that brought home both runners. But with Davis on second and no outs, the Patriots were unable to push across the go-ahead run. Maryland didn't have such problems in the bottom of the sixth. Durakis led off with a single and pinch runner Mike Rozek went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Casario. Palumbo's RBI single up the middle made it 4-3 and after he stole second, he scored on Steve Braun's single up the middle for a 5-3 lead.
After getting no production from the second and third sports in the order in the early innings, those batters came through in the seventh. Henderson and Krieger led off with back-to-back doubles to make it 5-4. Bour's single up the middle plated Krieger to tie the score.
Mike Modica came on for Mason in the seventh, his first relief appearance of the year. After getting a three-pitch strikeout and a first-pitch fly out, he walked two batters and hit a third to load the bases for Palumbo. The senior shortstop hit a slow roller up the middle and Soares' flip to Brent Weiss at second was too late. Aggressive base-running on the two-out play allowed Maryland to score two runs.
In the eighth, Mike Murphy reached on a passed ball despite striking out. Gerry Spessard replaced him at first when he reached on a fielder's choice. Mason nearly turned a double play on the grounder, but for the third time in the game, a Maryland batter was called safe on a close play at first. Jowers followed with a walk and Greenberg singled to make it 8-5. A throwing error by right fielder Ryan Uphouse allowed Jowers to score for the 9-5 final.
Mason will take Thursday off before returning to action this weekend with a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series at Towson. Game time on Friday is 3 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday's games at 1 p.m.