Colonials Comeback Stopped By Patriots, 10-9
April 10, 2003
FAIRFAX, VA - The Colonials were 90 feet from tying the game in the ninth inning after scoring three runs in their final at bat. The Patriots, however, prevailed holding off the Colonials for a 10-9 victory at Raymond H. "Hap" Spuhler Field. GW drops to 19-8 and looks towards this weekend's series against Xavier to gain some ground in the Atlantic 10 where they are fifth at 1-2.
George Mason (17-10) scored eight early runs, then held off a late George Washington rally to defeat the Colonials. GW had a three-game winning streak this year as well as against George Mason going into the game. The Patriots now lead the all-time series over the Colonials 45-31. The game had been scheduled for GW's home field in Arlington but was moved to GMU's home in Fairfax due to field conditions.
Mason scored four runs in each of the third and fourth innings to take an 8-0 lead. The Colonials, however dug in and fought back with four runs in the top of the fifth and two more in the sixth to cut the lead to 8-6. Sophomore Brad Rosenblat had a two-run double to spark the fifth inning, and sophomore Anthony Raglani (2-5) hit his second home run, a two-run shot, in the sixth. But Mason would score what proved to be two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth as junior Jeff Palumbo (2-5) hit a two-run homer, his first of the year, to give the Patriots a 10-6 advantage.
Those runs proved crucial in the ninth as George Washington scored three unearned runs. Senior Travis Crowder (3-4) led off with a single, freshman Tom Shanley (2-4) reached on an error and both advanced on a wild pitch before a pair of strikeouts. Sophomore Ryan Roberson (3-5) drove in both runners with a single up the middle, then Raglani reached on another error prior to senior Tony Dokoupil's (2-5) single to drive in Roberson, making the score 10-9. Freshman pinch-hitter Matt Owens drew a walk to load the bases, but sophomore Geoff Milsom grounded out to end the game.
The Colonials used six pitchers in the loss. Starting pitcher Nate CasaGrande (3-2) took the loss as he allowed four runs and five hits over 2 2/3 innings. Senior Travis Hardman (2-1), the first of five Patriot pitchers, picked up the win for George Mason as he allowed seven hits and four runs while walking two and striking out six over the first five innings. Colonials captain Chris Barry added two hits while GMU's senior Evan Howard and sophomore Jimmy Freund each added two hits for the Patriots.
The Colonials will return to conference play for the first time in three weeks this weekend. GW plays a three-game series against Xavier who is one place ahead of the Colonials with a 2-4 Atlantic 10 record. All three games can be followed through live stats on Xavier's website: www.xu.edu/athletics.