The George Mason baseball team extended their season
on Saturday afternoon, albeit by just an inning as the Patriots fell to Georgia
State, 2-1 in 10 innings in the season finale for the Patriots. With the win,
the Panthers earned a spot in the four-team Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
which begins next week.
Mason led 1-0 heading into the eighth, the third
straight game in which the Patriots got pitching. But the Panthers scored in
the eighth and brought the game-winner across with one out in the ninth to deny
Mason the role of spoiler.
In the top of the fifth, Nick Allen led off with a
double, Danny Lyons singled to put runners on the corners and Chris Cook
singled to make it 1-0. Cook finished the game with a season-high four hits.
But in the eighth, Georgia State finally broke through. Reliever Brandon Kuter
gave up a one-out walk to Rob Lind and Brandon Williams followed with a single
to put runners on the corners. After Sean Cabrera came on to retire Ryan
Fleming, Carter Sackett singled off reliever Neight Hoffa to make it 1-1.
Mason got the leadoff runner on in both the ninth
and tenth but couldn't retake the lead. In the ninth, Mick Foley singled, went
to second on a sacrifice, took third on a ground out, but was stranded there
when Jordan Hill grounded out. In the tenth, Cook singled but never got past
first base as reliever Jake Dyer, who picked up his third win of the year, got
three straight outs. In the bottom of the tenth, Shane Hammond was hit by a
pitch to lead off the inning, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a
deep fly ball to center, and scored when Williams' liner to third was just over
the glove of Blaise Fernandez against a drawn-in infield.
Ryan Pfaeffle threw five shutout innings as Mason
pitching held Georgia State to just 17 hits over the three games and just eight
runs. The Panthers have the second-best offense in the CAA.
The Patriots (21-32-1, 7-23) missed the CAA
Tournament for just the third time in school history while Georgia State
(37-19, 17-13) made it for the fourth time in the past five seasons. For the
Patriots, it was the final game for Shane Davis, Danny Lyons and T.J. O'Grady.
Davis, a fourth-year senior, is on the school's top 25 list in a dozen
different categories including RBI, home runs, hits and games played. Lyons was
in his second season with the team and started more games at catcher this year
than any other player. Davis finished the year batting .302 while Lyons hit
.297. O'Grady, a fifth-year senior, finished among the top 25 in school history