April 11, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
George Mason broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the top of the eighth inning as it came from behind to defeat Navy, 8-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis. Five Patriot pitchers combined to hold Navy hitless over the final six innings as George Mason improved to 23-11. Navy is now 14-19.
"It was a game where we had two opportunities to win. We either had to stretch our lead as the game went along, or we had to be able to keep them from scoring with better relief pitching - we weren't able to do either," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Give George Mason credit, they're a good team. We need to take better advantage of our opportunities."
With the game tied at six in the top of the eighth inning, Mason's Blaise Fernandez scored on a wild pitch to give the Patriots their first lead. Brig Tison, who finished the day 2-for-4, later drove in his third run of the afternoon with a single to make the score 8-6.
Jordan Heller, one of six Navy pitchers to see action on Wednesday, was tagged with the loss. Heller yielded the tying run in the top of the seventh inning and walked Fernandez, the eventual winning run, in the top of the eighth.
Greg Dupell gave the Mids a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he homered for the second straight game. His two-run blast off Mason starter John Williams sailed down the right field line and just stayed fair as it cleared the fence.
Dupell finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Navy extended its lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning with four runs off just two hits. Dupell got things started with an RBI single up the middle and two batters later Dave Milanes singled in another run as he drove the ball to shallow right center. A passed ball later scored Dupell and an RBI groundout by Jack Keller made it 6-0.
Navy starting pitcher Anthony Parenti
faced the minimum through three innings until three consecutive Patriot hits in the top of the fourth led to a pair of George Mason runs.
The Patriots cut into the Navy lead with a solo run off a sacrifice fly by Tison in the top of the fifth inning and then scored three in the top of the seventh to tie the game, 6-6. Chris Cook drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field. With two outs, Tison followed with hard hit RBI-double the right field line, just inches out of the reach of Dupell at first base. Zach Helgeson later knotted the game with an RBI single.
George Mason used a total of eight pitchers on Wednesday and it was Brandon Kuter, who pitched a perfect seventh inning, that got the win. Chris O'Grady retired the side in the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
Navy will host Holy Cross in a four-game series this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday.