Updated: May 6, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.
The Colonials dropped their weekend series against George Mason at home, GW’s second conference series loss of the year.
GW (27-20, 11-7 A-10) picked up a 1-0 victory against the Patriots (21-24, 11-7 A-10) Friday afternoon before dropping 5-3 and 4-3 in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
The Colonials closed out the series with their worst hitting performance since March.
“We threw away at-bats left and right and didn’t make some adjustments and let ourselves coast,” head coach Gregg Ritchie said. “Energy wasn’t there enough, and we just didn’t get it done.”
At the plate, the Colonials connected on a combined 16 hits over three games, while on the mound GW’s pitching staff collected 27 strikeouts total.
The two losses drop the Colonials from second place to fourth place in Atlantic 10 standings, with two conference series’ left in the regular season.
The Colonials came out on top of a pitcher’s duel Friday afternoon in a 1-0 victory against George Mason at Tucker Field.
Sophomore pitcher Jaret Edwards threw a complete game and tossed a one-hit shutout.
“Everytime a pitcher does that, it makes it dramatically easier, there’s no doubt about it,” Ritchie said. “We needed a performance and he matured and stepped up.”
Patriots’ junior Zach Mort held the Colonials nearly scoreless through eight innings of work and limited senior third baseman Isaiah Pasteur to no hits in the contest, breaking his 32-game hit streak.
Mort entered the matchup owning a conference-best 2.10 earned run average, and struck out six batters without walking a single Colonial in the contest.
GW loaded the bases with only one out in the second inning, but freshman outfielder Colin Brophy grounded out on a double play.
Mort struck out the side in the bottom of the third inning, but could not stop senior infielder Robbie Metz from scoring thanks to junior utility player Dominic D’Alessandro’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Edwards also hit a batter and struck out six opponents en route to his fourth win and first complete game of the season.
The Colonials let a seven-inning lead slip through their fingers in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, dropping 5-3 to the Patriots.
Sophomore pitcher Elliott Raimo allowed four hits and two runs in his six innings on the mound, and struck out 10 Patriots.
GW connected on just eight hits in the game, while Pasteur recorded his second game without a hit. The Colonials were led by Metz – who had three hits in four at-bats and one run batted in – and sophomore outfielder Steven Barmakian, who picked up one run and two hits in four appearances at the plate.
Raimo threw heat in the first inning, quickly retiring George Mason’s first three batters in the lineup and striking out all three of them out swinging.
The Colonials found the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning when Metz placed a hit beyond the reach of George Mason’s diving second baseman, for an RBI single to send Pasteur – who reached base on a walk and then stole second – over home plate.
Senior outfielder Mark Osis reached first at a fielder’s choice to send Barmakian home and give GW a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
GW picked up one more run in the bottom of the second, when Brophy hit a one-run homer into center right field to push the Colonials’ lead to 3-0 and score their last run of the game.
The Colonials held their lead until the seventh inning.
Raimo was relieved in the top of the seventh inning with one out and one runner on base by junior pitcher Will Kobos. Raimo ended the contest allowing four hits and one run through six innings, while striking out 10 Patriots.
With bases loaded and two outs, Kobos walked redshirt junior outfielder Brady Acker to advance freshman infielder Daniel Brooks over the plate to tie the score 3-3. Patriots sophomore outfielder Logan Driscoll hit a line drive to center field to send two runners home and give the Patriots a 5-3 lead.
“As anyone knows with baseball, if someone attacks, you can’t sit on a lead, you can’t rely on anything just happening, you have to fight back,” Barmakian said. “So that’s what we failed to do.”
After Barmakian was walked on a full count, Metz notched GW’s eighth hit of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With two outs and two runners on base, Osis smacked the ball deep into center field in the crease of the field, but a Patriots outfielder snagged the ball in a running catch at the warning track to end the seventh inning.
GW’s offense could not find its momentum in the final game of the series, dropping 4-3 to George Mason to lose the series overall.
The Colonials were held to four hits in the final game of the series, the lowest hit count they have tallied since their 5-1 loss to Baylor March 11, when they connected on three hits.
“We failed to attack early in the at-bat,” Barmakian said.
Junior pitcher Nathan Woods started on the mound for GW and struck out six Patriots over six innings. Senior pitcher Kevin Hodgson pitched three innings of relief and struck out three Patriots, while allowing one run.
Pasteur – who went hitless in the team’s first two contests – tallied three hits and one run in four at-bats to lead GW.
The Patriots jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when George Mason senior infielder Trevor Kelly hit a line drive down left field. A fielding error by Pasteur advanced Kelly to third base in the same play and allowed Patriots sophomore catcher Logan Driscoll to run from first base to home plate.
The Patriots’ one-run lead in the first inning did not last long, with the Colonials connecting on two hits for two runs to capture a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first.
Pasteur’s first hit in two games came when he beamed the ball down center field for a single and stole second with Barmakian at the plate to get into scoring position. A well-placed double down the right field line from Barmakian sent Pasteur home to knot the score 1–1.
Barmakian advanced to third when a deep hit from Metz was caught in the outfield, and crossed home after Osis grounded out to second base for his first RBI of the game and captured the 2–1 advantage.
George Mason tied the game in the second inning when junior infielder Alejandro Aponte hit an RBI-single to advance senior infielder Michael Smith over home in the top of the second inning. Another RBI-single from Aponte in the top of the sixth inning gave the Patriots the 3-2 lead.
GW’s final and game-tying run came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Pasteur hit a double to left field that bounced off the wall and onto the warning track, to send freshman infielder Trevor Kuncl home.
“You’re going to play high-level competition and teams that are battling and they’re fighting and they’re going to fight back, they’re going to punch back, and you have to play clean,” head coach Ritchie said. “We didn’t play clean.”
The Colonials return to action Friday when they host VCU at home in a three-game series. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.