This report was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Ryan Xepoloas roped a shot out to right center that hit off the top of the fence. He and one other Colonial would score – the first GW runs after 14 straight from George Mason over the course of the past two games.
In the fourth, the Patriots first baseman hit one toward that same spot in right center. This one went over the fence for a solo home run, leading to a three-run fourth inning.
A young GW team could not come back against a veteran-heavy George Mason team and lost 10-3, dropping the rubber match of the Atlantic 10 series.
“It’s like the ugly head spins around and here comes Voldemort,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “We got [professor Quirrell’s purple turban] on and we play good and guys execute the right things. And all of a sudden, they forgot to put the turban back on – that’s the focus hat, the focus turban – and they expose Voldemort. He comes out the other side and just freaks out.”
The Patriots scored their first two runs in the third inning Sunday – the first on a string of hits and a stolen base, the second on a throwing error by freshman third baseman Bobby Campbell as he tried to turn a double play while looking a runner back. Instead, the rushed throw to second went wide and into the outfield.
Campbell came to the plate for redemption with runners on second and third and two outs, but he rolled over to the third baseman on a 2-2 fastball to end the inning.
The Patriots came back over the next two innings to tack on five more runs, putting GW in a tough seven-run hole.
“They haven’t been able to figure out how to put on the brake, put a foot down and kind of Flintstone it,” Ritchie said. “You got to put your foot down through that floorboard and say, ‘No, stop.’ And then when it’s ready you got to wear those feet out and pedal. They’re just young guys that are still going through an absolute evolution of their mentality at playing at this level.”
Sophomore Bobby LeWarne exited after four innings of work, giving up five runs – four earned – on six hits, two walks and three hit batsmen.
“He didn’t command,” Ritchie said. “The stuff was the same stuff. He fell behind a lot and then when he had to throw his changeup in a behind the count situation, he had to elevate it.”
George Mason rolled into the series with a 4-1 conference record to GW’s 1-5 record. The A-10 newcomer was off to a strong start, but faced Colonial senior Aaron Weisberg in search of his first win of the season.
Thanks to seven innings and one run allowed by the big righty, GW won the first game 4-3. Mason jumped out to an early lead, getting their lone run against Weisberg in the first off three consecutive base hits. Freshman Collin Milon came in for relief in the ninth and ran into trouble, allowing two runs, but senior Luke Staub closed out the final two outs.
Freshman Collin Gibbons-Fly got the Colonials on the scoreboard with an RBI triple in the second inning. He then singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, while GW tagged on an additional two runs in the eighth.
Saturday, GW put themselves in a comfortable spot thanks to three early runs in the second inning, but the Colonials would not score again, losing 7-3. In the fourth inning, George Mason scored four runs on four hits, including a two-run RBI triple off freshman Jacob Williams, who dropped to 2-3 on the season.
GW will remain home to play Coppin State Tuesday and Towson Wednesday, before travelling to Philadelphia for a weekend A-10 series against La Salle.