Baseball Drops Series Opener at Hofstra
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Baseball Drops Series Opener at Hofstra

The George Mason baseball team went to Hempstead, N.Y., on Friday afternoon and the Patriots were unable to pick up their first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season as Mason fell to Hofstra, 9-5. For the Patriots, it was the first loss at Hofstra since March of 2007.

In a duel between two of the top 10 starting pitchers in the CAA, Hofstra's David D'Errico allowed just two runs in eight innings, scattering 11 hits without a walk. Mason's A.J. Johnson didn't allow a run until the fifth inning but his line saw him give up six runs in six and one-third inning, allowing 12 hits and no walks. The Pride had a season-high 18 hits as they also had six hits and three runs against Mason reliever Brandon Bartlett. Hofstra reliever Bryan Verbitsky allowed three runs in one-third of an inning as the Patriots put three on the board in the ninth but couldn't overcome the seven-run deficit. Jeff Guthridge picked up the save.

Mason struck first in the game. After a leadoff single amounted to nothing in the first and the Patriots had runners on second and third with just one out in the second, they finally put runs across in the third when Chris Cook singled, went to second on a ground out and scored on a two-out Shane Davis double. Davis came home on a Blaise Fernandez single. Mason nearly added to the lead in the fourth when three straight singles loaded the bases with one out, but Brig Tison grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The Pride took the lead for good in the fifth. With one out, Kenny Jackson hit a ball to center that the wind played games with. In the end, it fell out of reach of Jeremy Haas for a triple. Logan Davis singled to make it 2-1 and after Dylan Nasiatka doubled, Matt Ford doubled to make it 2-2. Nasiatka came home on Danny Poma's sacrifice fly. The Pride added an insurance run in the sixth when Joe Perez led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt and came home on a two-out single by Jackson.

In the seventh, Johnson's game came to an end after allowing two home runs, both solo shots, to Poma and Perez. In the eighth, Jackson led off with his fourth hit, went to second on a ground out and came home on a Nasiatka single. After Ford singled, Nasiatka came home on Poma's fielder's choice, which erased Ford from the base paths. Poma stole second and scored on a Jared Hammer single.

Mason's ninth-inning rally saw the first four batters reach in the inning. Danny Lyons was hit by a pitch and Nick Allen hit his second homer of the year. Chris Cook , who had three hits in the game, was hit by a pitch and Tison doubled to put runners on second and third. Davis singled to make it 9-5 but Fernandez lined into a double play as Hammer made an excellent play at first to end the contest.

The Patriots return to action on Saturday when they face the Pride at 10:30 a.m.

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