The George Mason baseball team was eliminated from the NCAA Division 1 Baseball Championship Houston Regional after a 7-3 loss to Texas A&M at Reckling Park on Saturday night.
The Patriots end the 2014 season with an overall record of 34-22. Anthony Montefusco earned the loss in the game, falling to 9-4 on the season after allowing four runs on 11 hits with one strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings pitched. Montefusco ends the season with an ERA of 2.19 and 249 career strikeouts, a new Mason career program record. Mason ends its season with its first conference championship since 1992 and the first Atlantic 10 championship in program history.
Montefusco was touched up early by the Aggies, who plated three runs on four hits and a Mason error in the top of the first. After a weather delay of one hour and thirty eight minutes, Texas A&M led off with a double, two singles and an error for an early 1-0 lead. The Aggies brought in their second run on an RBI groundout and their third with the fourth single of the inning for a lead they would hold for the entire three hour contest.
Texas A&M added a fourth run in the top of the third however Mason responded in the bottom of the frame for its first run.Luke Willis led off with one of 14 singles for the Patriots in the game followed by a walk drawn by Brandon Gum. Blaise Fernandez singled a 3-2 pitch through the right side to put Mason on the board for a 4-1 deficit after three innings.
Montefusco kept the Aggies off the board from the fourth through six innings while the Patriots closed the gap to 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Gum, Tucker Tobin and Chris Cook each singled in the frame to put Mason within one run. Cook went 4-5 in the game and ends the season as one of three Patriots with a batting average over .300 (.301).
Texas A&M was able to add insurance runs throughout the remainder of the ballgame, one in the top of the seventh and two in the eighth to keep the game out of reach for the Patriots. Mason added its third run in the bottom of the seventh when Josh Leemhuis, Cook and Montefusco hit three consecutive two-out singles to cut the lead at the time to 5-3 before two runs came across for A&M in the top of the eighth.
Jake Kalish pitched two and one-third inning following Montefusco, allowing the final three runs to score on five hits. Tyler Zombro tossed a scoreless ninth inning to give Mason one final chance in the bottom of the ninth, however the Patriots left two of their 14 men on base to end the ballgame.
Corey Ray earned the victory for the Aggies after pitching three and two-thirds innings of relief of starter Grayson Long. Ray allowed one run on four hits and struck out two Patriots as Texas A&M advances to its second elimination game on Sunday, June 1 at 3:00 p.m.