No. 25 UNCW closes out Mason baseball with three-game sweep

Mason baseball has a good chance to finish with a losing record for only the second time in school history (Photo by John Irwin).
Mason baseball has a good chance to finish with a losing record for only the second time in school history (Photo by John Irwin).

It was little league day at Spuhler Field in Fairfax. The crowd was made up mostly of parents and children clad in various colors of little league teams from all over the Northern Va. region. The matchup on the field was between the Mason Patriots and the UNC Wilmington Seahawks.

For the second straight day, it was a matchup of men against boys as UNCW easily beat Mason, 10-2.

UNCW sprung out of the gate quickly, scoring three runs in the first and four more in the second after Mason scored once in the bottom of the first.

Mason sophomore starting pitcher John Williams took the loss after lasting just three innings in his fifth start. Williams surrendered seven runs on nine hits after 22 batters faced. The loss was Mason’s sixth in a row and Williams’ fourth of the season.

“[Williams’] command was off and they’re a good offensive team,” said Mason’s Coach Bill Brown. “You really have to command the baseball and expand the strike zone with quality pitches and John just wasn’t very sharp out of the gate.”

The only bright spot for the Patriots was junior Michael Bowie. He entered in relief at the start of the fourth inning and threw four solid innings.

“I just tried to get ahead of them,” said Bowie, who allowed one run on three hits. “The curve ball was working today so I went ahead and started throwing that. They didn’t seem to be swinging at it so I took advantage of that and grinded out four innings to try and get us back into the game.”

Sunday’s game featured the top team in the Colonial Athletic Association and the bottom team of the conference. UNCW improved their record to 30-11, 12-2 in the CAA. Mason meanwhile fell to 13-28, 5-16 in the conference.

“This is their [UNCW] year,” Brown said. “This team is set up to be good this year and they are. They don’t give anything away. If you’re going to win a game you’re going to have to play it clean and you’re going to have to be outstanding.”

There are 13 games remaining in the season for Mason. In the last six seasons, the Patriots have finished under .500 twice. The first time was in 2006 when the team finished 20-31 and again in 2011 with a record of 21-32-1.

“It’s a tough thing to go through what we’re going through right now,” Brown said. “Mentally it just beats you down. But also, we have to get to the finish line and we will get to the finish. But we need to do it with class and energy and we’ll continue to emphasize that.”

Mason’s next game is against Longwood University at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be the last home game before the team’s eight-game road trip. The Patriots last played the Lancers in Farmville on April 3 losing, 9-5.

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