Tobin's hot bat lifts Patriots to sweep of Iona in Sunday doubleheader

Junior catcher Tucker Tobin went 6-for-9 from the plate in Sunday's doubleheader vs. Iona College (Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics).
Junior catcher Tucker Tobin went 6-for-9 from the plate in Sunday's doubleheader vs. Iona College (Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics).

The George Mason faithful had their brooms on hand in hopes of a series sweep against Iona College on Sunday.

The Patriots didn’t disappoint.

Mason (3-3) took all three games against Iona (1-5) at Spuhler Field this weekend, including two big wins in Sunday’s double-header. 

The Patriots dominated on the mound and in the batter’s box in the first game of the doubleheader, winning 13-1. The game featured outstanding performances from juniors Jared Gaynor and Tucker Tobin.

With eight strikeouts in six innings of work, Gaynor got into an untouchable rhythm and put the Patriots in a great position to win.

“When I’m pitching my best I’m in a solid rhythm, consistently working quick,” said Gaynor, who’s in his first year with Mason after transferring from South Mountain Community College.

Gaynor only allowed one run off of six hits in his first victory in a Patriots uniform on Sunday, with his only blemish coming in the third inning.

“The struggles in the third inning, I think, was a lot of pitching out of the stretch for the first time in the game,” Gaynor said. “After that inning I just settled down a little bit and was able to get back to what I was doing.”

Mason also had success at the plate, thanks to a terrific series performance from Tobin.

“Offensively, I got some good pitches to hit,” said Tobin modestly reflecting on his 10-13 performance in the three games, including two home runs in game one of the double header.

The Gaels' pitching staff couldn’t find a way to stop Tobin, who scored seven runs in the three game series.

“Tucker was on fire as much as you can be,” said Assistant Coach Steve Hay, who’s in his seventh year with the Patriots. “To get that production out of your four-hole hitter is really important as far as driving runs in.”

The junior catcher took full advantage of his opportunities in the clean-up spot, getting on base in six of his nine plate appearances Sunday.

“I had a lot of guys get on in front of me, which definitely helps, making the pitchers throw out of the stretch,” said Tobin, who leads the team with nine runs batted in through six games this season.

Game two of the double header was Pitcher Jake Kalish’s coming-out party, as the Patriots held off a late-inning surge from the Gaels to win 5-4. The junior lefty struck out eight, while only allowing two runs on three hits through 6.1 innings of work.

“Jake did a great job. We didn’t use much of the bullpen at all, or even need to,” Hay said. “As far as the starts that we got today that’s pretty much all you could ask for.”

The Patriots are now at an even 3-3 for the year, after starting off slow in their three games in Charleston, S.C. at the Citadel. Coach Hay talked about the importance of sweeping Iona, especially at home.

“It was great to get on the win column on Friday, and to play a long double header day like this and get two wins, it’s just what we needed,” Hay said. “We needed to get back home and play in our home ballpark, and control the home territory, and it was great to be able to do that.”

The Patriots will be back in action on Wednesday night, taking on Georgetown at 3 p.m in Bethesda, Md.

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