Mason baseball travels to Georgia State for first CAA action

Mason baseball opens CAA play in Atlanta against Georgia State this weekend (Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics). 

The George Mason University baseball team travels to Atlanta this weekend for their first taste of Colonial Athletic Association action against Georgia State University. The Patriots enter the weekend series with a record of 6-5, while the Panthers, rank second in the CAA with a record of 8-5.

Mason is powered by junior catcher Tucker Tobin, who leads the CAA with four home runs, and was named CAA player of the week on Feb. 26. Georgia St. meanwhile is led offensively by freshman outfielder Josh Merrigan, who leads the CAA in hits and ranks second in the conference in RBIs — tied with Tobin at 13.

Junior pitcher Jake Kalish (1-0) has shined in his three starts for the Patriots, allowing five earned runs in 17 1/3 innings of work, while striking out 16 batters. The Panthers pitching staff includes freshman Garrett Ford (1-2) who nearly matches Kalish’s stats with six earned runs through 17 innings.

Mason has scored 29 of their 66 runs in the first three innings of games this season. Associate Head Coach Steve Hay believes scoring early will play an important role in Atlanta.

“It will start with having good at-bats early in the game and getting on the board first and then finishing the game with quality pitching and excellent defense,” said Hay via email.

Despite starting the season 0-3 after the Citadel Memorial Challenge, Mason has won six of their last eight games, five of them at home. The trip to Atlanta will be the first weekend series on the road for the Patriots.

“It is always tough to play away from home in our league and Georgia State is no exception,” Hay said. “Our expectation is to play good baseball and win the series on the road. It will be a fun test and we are excited to get CAA play started.”

The series begins under the lights in Pantherville with a 6 p.m. start tonight.