Leopards face George Mason in three game series

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The Leopards split Sunday’s doubleheader against George Mason. Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications

Morgan Maves

The Lafayette baseball team travelled to George Mason University last week for a scheduled 3-game spring break series against the Patriots. After dropping the first game on Friday, the Saturday game was cancelled because of weather resulting in a double-header on Sunday. The Patriots won the first game of the Sunday series, and came within a run of another win in the final game.

In the first game, George Mason jumped out ahead in the first inning and never fell behind. The Patriots scored 12 runs, including four in the seventh inning. Sophomore outfielder Brandon Posivak, on base after being hit by a pitch, scored off a hit by softball infielder John Marti in the third inning. 

Senior first baseman Patrick Nelson hit his second homer of the season in the sixth, and Marti got his own run off a triple by sophomore outfielder Jake Sniegocki in the eighth, but the team could not score more than those three runs. Sophomore pitcher Brett Kreyer stayed in the game for 5.2 innings, striking out five batters but taking the loss in that game, to drop to 1-3 on the year. Junior Connor Jones, sophomore Kenny Campbell and senior Brendan Ball also took turns on the mound.

In Sunday’s first game, Lafayette took an early 2-0 lead in the first. Senior outfielder Luke Robinson walked and Marti singled, before Nelson came to bat. George Mason’s wild pitch scored Robinson, and Nelson’s single scored Marti.

George Mason came back in the second and the fourth innings, scoring a run in each inning to tie the game at 2-2.  That score held until the eighth inning, when the Leopards’ hitters sealed the game. Senior infielder Steven Cohen reached base on an infield single and moved to second on Robinson’s sacrifice bunt. Marti drove Cohen home, giving Lafayette the 3-2 lead which held through the end.

The Leopards’ offense was efficient, scoring three from five hits, while the Patriots left five on base, scoring its two runs from seven hits.

The Maroon and White used four pitchers in that game, starting with senior John Cain who had five hits on him, but struck out four batters in four innings. Freshman Gabe Levin followed, pitching for 1.1 innings.  Junior Kyle Johnson earned his first win of the season, holding the Patriots scoreless for two innings, while Lafayette went on top. Freshman JP Wodward finished the game, recording his second save this year.

Going into the bottom of the double-header, the bats for both teams heated up for a total of 25 runs. Cohen hit four and scored one in five at-bats in the game–totaling five-for-nine (.556)–with three RBI and two runs for the day.

George Mason sought to avenge their loss in game two of the day, scoring seven runs in the first inning. Lafayette came back to score two in the second inning. Sophomore infielder Mark Glover walked, and sophomore infielder Trey Durrah’s hit moved him to second. Sophomore catcher Drew Janson drove Glover home, and Cohen’s sacrifice fly scored Durrah. The Leopards scored three more times in the fourth, on singles from senior outfielder Quentin Bubb (scoring Glover), Cohen (bringing Durrah home) and junior infielder Spencer Rouse’s advance to first after being hit by a pitch, which scored Bubb. 

Lafayette hit a dry patch in their hitting, and the Patriots kept ahead by scoring one run in the fourth, three runs in the fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh innings. The Patriots posted a 13-5 lead going into the eighth inning. 

At the top of the eighth, Lafayette’s bats started connecting. With one out, Jansen reached base on a walk and Bubb followed with a single. Cohen hit Jansen home, and Robinson walked to pack the bases. Marti’s double cleared the bases, raising the score another three. With two out, Rouse walked and Glover singled, and Durrah’s double brought the three baserunners home. At the end of the eighth, the Leopards’ had scored seven and tightened the game to 13-12.

Unfortunately, the Patriots tightened their defense in the ninth, and Lafayette was not able to score more.  The 13-12 final split the double-header.

The Leopards used seven pitchers in this high-hitting game, starting with junior who Jon Faraci took the loss from the hits in the first inning. The other pitchers used were sophomore Mark Anderson, junior David Giusti, freshman Michael Dunn, sophomore Brian Lannino, Levin and Johnson.

Through the three games, the Patriots were error-free, but Lafayette had two errors in each of the games.

The series left Lafayette with an 8-12 record and George Mason at 7-11.

The Leopards’ game against Seton Hall on March 21 was cancelled, so their next game is scheduled for March 24 at 12:00 p.m. at home against Lehigh.