Baseball Falls at No. 2 Virginia
April 21, 2010
Charlottesville, Va. - The George Mason baseball team took a six-game winning streak to the University of Virginia on Wednesday and the Patriots were unable to come away with an upset of the nation's second-ranked team as the Cavaliers overcame an early deficit to beat Mason 10-3. The Patriots, who had won five-straight road games heading into the affair, suffered their fifth-straight loss at the hands of the Cavaliers dating back to a 4-3 Mason road win in 2003. The Patriots are now 23-12 on the year while Virginia is 31-9.
Jeremy Haas and Shane Davis each had two hits for the Patriots. Reed Gragnani and Keith Werman each had three hits for Virginia. It was just the fifth time all year Mason has lost a game by more than two runs and two of those previous four had gone to extra innings.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a two-out triple from Steven Proscia that scored Chris Taylor, who had walked earlier in the inning. In the second, Mason had runners on first and second with two outs as Davis singled and Dan Palumbo walked, but the rally died when Palumbo was thrown out trying to advance on a ball in the dirt. The Patriots didn't waste their chance, however, in the third.
Brett Hendricks led off the inning with a sharp single up the middle and Dan Schafferman followed with a single through the left side. Next up was Haas and the centerfielder was called upon to sacrifice. With two strikes, he laid a perfect slow roller down toward third that he beat out for a hit, and the throw from Proscia hit him in the back, allowing Hendricks to come home as the ball rolled into foul territory. Schafferman went to third on the play and he gave Mason a 2-1 lead when Brig Tison grounded into a double play.
The Cavaliers wasted no time in retaking the lead. In the bottom of the inning, Werman, Taylor and Dan Grovatt singled to load the bases and Proscia's grounder to short made it a 2-2 contest. Jarrett Parker followed with a two-run triple to make it 4-2. In the fourth, Virginia made it a three-run lead when John Hicks was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a Gragnani single to center. Gragnani stole second and scored on a Werman double down the rightfield line for a 6-2 lead.
In the fifth, Parker led off with a single and Tyler Cannon walked to put a pair on with no outs. Hicks' sacrifice bunt moved the runners over and Gragnani brought them home with a single to right. Mason threatened in the sixth when Mark Hill hit a one-out double and Palumbo drew a two-out walk. Chris Cook followed with an infield single to load the bases but Hendricks was unable to get any of the runners home. The Patriots did get back on the board in the seventh taking advantage of Virginia's third error.
Haas hit a one-out double down the leftfield line and Tison followed with a ball up the middle that Taylor got to, but threw over the Mason dugout to allow Haas to score. The Patriots later had runners on the corners with one out but a strike out and caught stealing on the same pitch ended the rally and kept it 8-3. Virginia's final runs came in the eighth when the leadoff batter was hit and two singles and a sacrifice fly followed to make it 10-3.
The Patriots' went 4-1 on their five-game road trip and now return home to take on Delaware (20-15, 3-6) in a three-game series this weekend. Mason is 7-5 in the CAA and tied for third while Delaware is tied for ninth. First pitch on Friday at Spuhler Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.