Baseball Falls as Georgia State Rallies for Five in the Ninth
May 1, 2010
Atlanta, Ga. - The George Mason baseball team gave up five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lose to Georgia State, 7-6 on Saturday. The Patriots had led for nearly the entire game but couldn't get the final two outs as the Panthers strung together four hits, a walk, a hit batter and a Mason error to overcome the ninth-inning deficit against Mason closer A.J. Johnson. The win gives Georgia State the series victory (26-17-1, 9-4-1) and drops Mason to 27-14 on the year, 10-7 in Colonial Athletic Association play.
The Panthers rallied in the ninth when, with one out, Joey Wood singled, Justin Malone walked and Mark Micowski was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Jonathan Kolowich followed with a two-run single to make it 6-4. A failed pickoff attempt allowed both runners to advance and an infield single by Carl Moniz brought home Micowski to make it 6-5. Bradley Logan, Georgia State's all-time hits leader followed with a game-tying single and Fleming's single ended the contest as Moniz scored on the play.
Mason relievers Ryan Pfaeffle and Anthony Montefusco had done an excellent job for four and two-third innings combining to allow just one run on one hit with two walks. But Johnson, who was tied for the CAA lead with six saves, couldn't get the final two outs, as he entered the game after Wood's ninth-inning single.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings until Mason broke through in the top of the fourth. Mark Hill led off the inning with a walk, went to second on a Dan Palumbo single, took third when Dan Schafferman walked and scored on a Josh Steinberg sacrifice fly. The Panthers answered in the bottom of the fourth as Ryan Fleming singled and after Rob Lind and Steve Hammond drew walks, he scored on a Justin Malone sacrifice fly. A Mark Micowski single up the middle brought home Lind for a 2-1 Georgia State lead.
In the top of the fifth, Mason finally put together a big inning. Brig Tison, Ryan Soares and Hill hit three straight singles to make it a 2-2 game. Shane Davis followed with a blast to right field, a three-run homer, his seventh of the season. That put the Patriots ahead 5-2. Pfaeffle, who came on in the fourth after Micowski's single, retired the side in the fifth and that allowed Mason to push the lead to four runs in the top of the sixth. Josh Steinberg led off with a double, he took third on a Chris Cook sacrifice bunt and scored on a Jeremy Haas sacrifice fly to make it 6-2. Pfaeffle pitched into the seventh before giving way to Montefusco, who took the game into the ninth.
The teams will finish the three-game series on Sunday. Mason has not lost three straight games all season.