Baseball Drops 9-6 Decision at Maryland
April 22, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The George Mason baseball team suffered its first midweek loss of the 2009 season as the 27th-ranked Patriots were defeated by the University of Maryland, 9-6, on Wednesday evening at Shipley Field.
The win was Maryland's third straight, improving the Terps' record to 20-21. George Mason fell to 31-8 as the Terps avenged a loss to Mason at Spuhler Field in Fairfax last month.
George Mason got off to a good start, scoring four runs with two outs in the top of the first inning, despite hitting only two balls out of the infield.
With two outs and a runner on first base, Justin Bour hit what appeared to be a routine infield pop-up. However, the slick conditions forced both third baseman Mike Murphy and shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez to slip and watch the ball fall safely into fair territory down the third-base line.
A third infield single loaded the bases for designated hitter Mark Hill. Hill took Maryland starter Brett Harman's 1-1 pitch over the left-center field wall for a grand slam and a 4-0 Patriots lead.
Maryland answered with a big first inning of its own to take a 6-4 lead following the game's opening stanza.
Pupa led off with a double to center field and catcher Will Greenberg followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to get the Terps on the board quickly. Murphy then doubled down the right-field line to put runners at second and third with still no outs.
With two runners in scoring position, cleanup hitter A.J. Casario drove in both runners, as well as himself, blasting Kevin Lingerman's first pitch over the right-center field wall to tie the game at 4. The Terps added two runs more runs to take the lead.
The pace of the game slowed down considerably after the first inning as both bullpens were effective. The Patriots tied the game with single runs in the third and fourth innings. However, the Patriots had a chance to do more in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. Maryland reliever Eric Potter minimized the damage, limiting the Patriots to just a sacrifice fly.
Blair Delean (1-0) retired all seven batters he faced and got Maryland into the bottom of the sixth inning with the score still tied at 6. Maryland broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting a two-out RBI single from Pupa to score pinch runner Logan Welch from second. Delean earned the win for the Terrapins.
Center fielder Dan Benick crushed a solo home run over the scoreboard in left field and Pupa later added an RBI single to give Maryland two insurance runs in the eighth.
Dan Gentzler then retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save of the season. Delean earned his first career victory. The loss went to Ben Reade (3-1).
Mason will be back in action this weekend when it hosts Hofstra for a three-game Colonial Athletic Association set, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday at Spuhler Field.