MERION STATION, Pa. – A three-run sixth inning led George Mason past the Saint Joseph’s baseball team, 4-1, at Smithson Field on Friday afternoon. Matt Maul led the Hawks with a pair of hits on the day.
Saint Joseph’s (7-15 overall, 1-3 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the bottom half of the second. Dominic Cuoci led off with a single and went to second on a single by Maul. A fielder’s choice by Taylor Boyd put runners on the corners with one out, and after a stolen base by Boyd, a wild pitch by Tyler Zombro brought home Cuoci with the game’s first run.
Pat Vanderslice retired eight in a row and nine of 10 in the middle innings before running into trouble in the sixth. With two outs, Michael Smith worked a walk and Tyler Nelin was hit by a pitch to bring Greg Popatak to the plate. The Patriots’ designated hitter lofted a ball to deep center that struck the bottom of the fence, scoring both runners and putting GMU on top. Trevor Kelly then followed with a single to make it a 3-1 lead.
George Mason (12-18 overall, 3-1 Atlantic 10) tacked on an insurance run in the eighth as Kelly’s two-out single was followed by a double down the left field line by Tim Quinn.
Zombro retired the final 10 hitters he faced, going seven innings to earn the win. He allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven to improve to 3-3. Vanderslice fell to 2-3 after allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in five and two-thirds innings. He struck out six on the day.
Jared DiCesare pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon; first pitch at Smithson Field is set for 2:00 p.m.