The George Mason University Patriots (42-13, 19-5) have been dominant throughout the year, but they finally faced a tough competitor in the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 11-3 to the 22nd-ranked Gamecocks.

First baseman Justin Bour doubled in Mason’s first run in the 1st inning, and Mason led 1-0 until the 4th inning when the Gamecocks finally unloaded for four runs. Right fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off the inning with a single, but two costly errors on one play from shortstop Brent Weiss created a bigger mess as designated hitter Parker Bangs belted a home run off pitcher Mike Modica (11-2). The damage in the 4th inning was enough for the Gamecocks to get by Mason, but there was more to come. The Gamecocks added two runs in the 5th inning and two more in the 6th inning. Mason got two runs back in the 7th inning after catcher Chris Henderson cashed in on a two-run double. The Gamecocks scored three more runs in the bottom half of the 7th inning as Mason suffered one of their worst defeats this season. Mason last gave up double-digit runs to an opponent when they competed in the tournament in Florida. Modica gave up 10 hits and six runs in five innings.

Mason will attempt to salvage their season when they face the loser of the game between the top-seeded East Carolina University Pirates and Binghamton University Bearcats.