Baseball falls to Delaware in weekend series opener, 8-5

With the season winding down, the George Mason Patriots (32-18, 15-10 CAA) took on their conference opponents the Delaware Blue Hens (22-22, 12-10 CAA).

When the two teams played last year in Delaware, the Blue Hens swept the season series.

In the opening game of the series on Friday, the Blue Hens sprinted out to an early lead in the first inning, scoring four runs on five hits off of Patriots sophomore starting pitcher Anthony Montefusco.

The Patriots attempted to answer back in the bottom half of the first with three straight hits by seniors Brig Tison, Dan Schafferman, and Zach Helgeson but ultimately came up short.

Little action occurred until the bottom half of the third, when Tison and Schafferman again both reached base on singles. Still, the Patriots offense failed to come through in the clutch.
The Blue Hens scored a run in the next inning to make increase their lead 5-0.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning that the Patriots were able to scratch a run across the board, making the score 5-1.

Sophomore first baseman Mick Foley led off the inning with a double to left field. Sophomore left fielder Josh Leemhuis advanced Foley to third on a slow grounder to second.

The next batter up, senior catcher Jake Leonardo, drove Foley home on a grounder to first base.

However, the Blue Hens were too much for the Patriots to handle. In the next inning, they extended their lead 8-1 on four hits.

The first batter up for the Blue Hens, sophomore first baseman Jimmy Yezzo, drove a sharp line drive just past Montefusco’s head for a single.

Next up for the Blue Hens was junior designated hitter Alex Mauri. He hit a nasty grounder to sophomore third baseman Blaise Fernandez that squirted off his glove and into left field.

The next batter, freshman left fielder Tyler Powell, singled to center field, followed by bunt laid down by sophomore third baseman EJ Stoltzfus that advanced Mauri to third.

The inning eventually ended when Montefusco was pulled for sophomore relief pitcher Neight Hoffa.

Rain postponed the game, and when it resumed the Patriots managed to climb within three of the Blue Hens.

Nevertheless, they still fell in the end by a final count of 8-5.

The Blue Hens were all over the Patriots’ pitching on Friday. They took them to all parts of the field for base hits.

Look for the Patriots to rebound from the loss on Saturday when the series resumes at 2 p.m. at Mason’s Spuhler Field.

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