FAIRFAX, Va. –
The George Mason baseball team dropped the opener of a three-game series against George Washington, falling 4-3 on Friday afternoon at Spuhler Field.
Mason (22-25, 10-6 A-10) fell behind in the top of the first inning when George Washington (24-23, 8-8 A-10) scored three runs on four hits against starter Tyler Zombro
Senior Bobby Campbell made it 1-0 with a RBI single and junior Robbie Metz drove in two runs with a double down the right field line to increase the lead to 3-0. The Colonials scored all three runs with two outs in the inning. The Patriots have allowed the first run in six of the last 10 games.
The Patriots responded in the home half of the second against George Washington starter Brady Renner, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring three runs on five hits to tie the game.
Junior Tyler Nelin
led off with a single and sophomore Greg Popatak II
followed with his 11th double of the season to put runners on second and third with no outs. Junior Trevor Kelly
, who leads the Atlantic 10 in RBI, then doubled to left field with both baserunners crossing the plate to make it a one-run game at 3-2.
After a ground out, freshman John Callahan
hit a fly ball to right field with Kelly rumbling home from third on the sacrifice fly, eluding the tag at the plate to tie the score 3-3.
After five scoreless innings, George Washington scored the game-winning run in the eighth. With one out, senior Ryan Galvin
walked Colonials senior Joey Bartosic and classmate Andrew Selby before the Patriots made the call to the bullpen. Junior Ryan Ricci
gave up a RBI single through the left side of the infield, with Bartosic scoring from second to put the Colonials up 4-3.
Pinch hitter Jonathan Hansen
drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but Colonials sophomore reliever Will Kobos retired the next two batters with a strikeout and a fly out to end the game.
Six of the last 11 meetings between the two teams have been decided by a single run.
Kelly went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. He has driven in nine runs over the last five games. Callahan went 1-for-2 and drove in his eighth run of the season. After collecting five hits in the second inning, Mason had just two hits the rest of the game.
Zombro allowed three runs on eight hits, struck out four and walked four over 6.0 innings in the no-decision. Galvin (0-1) surrendered a run in 0.2 innings and suffered the loss.
Renner allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings for the Colonials. Kobos (3-1) didn't allow a hit and tossed three scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.
The Patriots will look to even the series in game two on Saturday afternoon at Spuhler Field with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.