FAIRFAX, Va. – A three-run eighth inning brought the Saint Joseph’s baseball team back from a late deficit as the Hawks topped George Mason, 3-1, at Spuhler Field on Saturday afternoon.
Tim Brennan went the distance, giving SJU its second complete-game effort in its last three outings. He allowed four hits – only two of them before the ninth – while fanning five and walking one.
Brennan and GMU’s Bryce Nightengale went toe-to-toe for much of the ballgame, as the Hawks only managed three base runners over the first six innings. The Patriots didn’t fare any better, notching a single in the first before Brennan sent down the next 12 batters he faced. He then issues a walk to Michael Smith with one out in the fifth before erasing him on a pickoff.
Logan Driscoll finally broke the deadlock in the bottom of the seventh, giving George Mason (22-25 overall, 12-8 Atlantic 10) a 1-0 lead with a solo home run to right.
Saint Joseph’s (19-25 overall, 5-13 Atlantic 10) answered in the top half of the eighth. Brian Vance led off the inning with a walk before an error put Vance on third and Brendan Hueth on second with nobody out. Matt Maul then drew a walk to load the bases for Charlie Concannon, who continued his productive weekend with a go-ahead single to score a pair and put the Hawks on top.
Kadar Namey followed with an RBI single of his own to score Maul and extend the lead to 3-1.
The Patriots threatened to spoil things for the second day in a row, putting runners on second and third with nobody out, but a double play and a lineout ended things in the Hawks’ favor.
With the win, Brennan improved to 8-3 on the season, setting a new career high for victories and tying him for second all-time with 19. Nightengale took the loss after being charged with three runs on four hits, three walks, and four strikeouts in seven-plus innings. He fell to 4-6.
The teams will play the rubber match of the weekend series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.