Courtesy of GoBonnies.com
FAIRFAX, Va. – George Mason had opportunity after opportunity go for naught in Sunday’s Atlantic 10 series finale vs. the St. Bonaventure baseball team. Finally, an error with the bases loaded allowed Mason to walk off a winner, 1-0, at Spuhler Field.
St. Bonaventure now stands 18-15 overall and 9-6 in Atlantic 10 play, still earning a series victory over the Patriots (18-23, 7-5) after taking a doubleheader on Friday.
A walk and an infield single with a sacrifice bunt sandwiched between put the Patriots in business in the last of the ninth. An intentional walk loaded the bases before Bonnies reliever James Wetter coaxed a fly out for the second out. For a moment, it seemed as though the Bonnies would get out of trouble again after stranding nine Mason runners on base through the first eight frames. A ball off the bat of Logan Driscoll bounced off the first baseman’s glove, however, and Driscoll raced down the line before the throw while Alejandro Aponte came home from third to end the game.
Prior to that, the Bonnies had walked the high wire successfully all afternoon.
Mason left a runner at third in the fourth inning, then starter Brandon Schlimm worked out of a big jam in the fifth with some help of defense behind him.
After the Patriots loaded the bases with one out, Mason left fielder Brady Acker hit a hot shot to third on a hop. Bonnies third baseman David Hollins went to a knee to make the stop, tagging the bag for the force before throwing a strike across the diamond to complete a tremendous double play.
The Bonnies got out of trouble in more dramatic fashion an inning later.
With the bases jammed and no outs, Bona turned one of the game’s rarest plays. Mason’s Trevor Kelly sent a liner toward second where Jared Baldinelli caught the ball on the fly. The St. Bonaventure senior then turned what became a 4-6-3 triple play to retire the side and stun the Patriots.
Then in the eighth, Wetter was called out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and delivered a fly out to center to put out another fire.
Unfortunately for Bona, the Bonnies bats could not figure out Mason starter Brian Marconi. The sophomore went the distance, allowing just two hits – an infield single in the fifth from Dave Vaccaro and a single to left in the ninth by Ryan MacCarrick. The Bonnies would not send a runner to third during the afternoon.
Bonnies starter Brandon Schlimm went five innings of shutout ball, striking out three while throwing 49 of his 68 pitches for strikes. Three freshmen followed – Murphy O’Brien (two innings, one hit, no runs) and Donovan Moffat (0.2 innings, no hits) worked before Wetter (1.0 innings, one hit, one unearned run) finished the game.
St. Bonaventure next heads to Big 4 rival Buffalo for a Tuesday non-conference doubleheader at 2 p.m.