MERION STATION, Pa. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team locked up a crucial series win on Sunday, topping George Mason, 5-2, in front of a packed house at Smithson Field.  Matt Maul and Deon Stafford, Jr., led the Hawk offense with two hits apiece.

George Mason (12-20 overall, 3-3 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the first as starter Hayden Seig ran into early trouble.  After a strikeout of Brady Acker to start the game, a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Trevor Kelly, who hit into a fielder’s choice to score Michael Smith with the game’s first run.  Seig then retired Tim Quinn on a groundout to minimize the damage and keep the deficit at one.

Stafford got things started in the bottom of the first for the Hawks as he hit his fourth home run of the season to tie the game with one out.  Charlie Concannon followed with a single and then went to third on another single by Brian Lau before scoring on a groundout by Cal Jadacki to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.

GMU had an opportunity to level the affair in the second, putting a man on second with two outs, but Concannon made a catch on the run before slamming into the fence and holding on to rob Smith of extra bases.

The Patriots eventually tied things up in the third.  Tyler Nelin led off the inning with a single and stole second base before eventually coming around to score on a passed ball to tie the game at 2-2.

Saint Joseph’s (9-15 overall, 3-3 Atlantic 10) went ahead for good in the fourth.  Dominic Cuoci led off the frame with a walk, but GMU starter Brian Marconi then notched two fly ball outs to bring up Peter Sitaras, who ripped a ball off the fence in right center for a triple to give the Hawks the lead.  Maul followed with a double to left center to score Sitaras and make it a 4-2 lead.

That’s when the Hawk bullpen went to work, as Zach DeVincenzo and Lau combined for five innings of one-hit shutout ball, allowing just two base runners.  Lau allowed a leadoff single to start the seventh, but then retired the final nine batters of the game, and the Hawks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth after Cuoci doubled and Taylor Boyd singled to set the final score.

DeVincenzo earned the win, moving to 1-0 on the season after tossing two innings of relief.  He fanned two and did not walk a batter.  Lau secured his first save of the season after allowing one hit and striking out three in three innings.

Marconi took the loss for the Patriots, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings to fall to 3-4.  Seig settled in after a tough first inning and ultimately allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and three walks while striking out six in four innings.

The Hawks will hit the road for four in a row beginning Tuesday at Villanova.