In a battle of winless teams, George Mason broke out of the gates in the first inning, hammering Virginia for four runs en route to a 6-4 victory yesterday at U.Va. Baseball Field in front of 133 fans.
In the top of the first, the Patriots jumped all over Cavalier lefthander Jon Metzger (0-2), belting line drives all over the field while putting four runs on the scoreboard.
"We got off to a bad start pitching wise," Cav Coach Dennis Womack said. "I was a little disappointed that one of our better guys didn't really throw the ball very well. They basically beat us with one big inning."
Although the Cavaliers (0-4-1) fell behind early, they mounted a slow but steady rally against the Patriots (1-3) with a series of one-run innings.
"We had some chances offensively, but needed a big base hit that we never could get," Womack said. "We never got more than one run at a time. We had the bases loaded a couple of times, and if someone hits the ball in the gap, the game would have been different."
Sophomore center fielder Michael Floyd, who led the comeback for the Cavaliers, tallied three RBIs coming off a double - his only hit of the night - a sac fly and a fielder's choice.
The Cavs, however, could not muster enough offense to tie the game, despite several opportunities in the final innings.
In the eighth, George Mason lefty Derek Ashcraft walked three consecutive Cavalier batters to load the bases with no outs. The Patriots then brought in closer Jesse Lipcius who got out of the inning with only one Cav crossing home plate.
The Cavaliers made another run at the lead in the ninth, when senior shortstop Tim LaVigne slapped a single up the middle advancing first baseman David Stone to third. Cav catcher Jon Benick then lined a sac fly to rightfield to drive in Stone and cut the deficit to 6-4. After walking designated hitter Mark Rueffert, Dan Street flied out to right to end the game and give Lipcius his first save.
Patriot lefty Travis Hardman pitched five strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits to get the win.
"It came down to execution and we didn't execute," Floyd said. "Right now it is early in the season, but hopefully it will pick up later in the season."