The George Mason University Patriots (42-14, 19-5) packed their bags alright, but their bags are not headed to Omaha, Neb. Instead, Mason will be coming home after a terrific season despite dropping to the Binghamton University Bearcats 11-6 in the elimination game of the NCAA Tournament regionals.

Every time Mason rallied to cut into their opponent’s lead, the Bearcats came clawing back for more runs. Mason stranded 16 runners on base after getting a man on in every inning. In the 5th inning, Mason had the bases loaded with just one out. Shortstop Brent Weiss lined out, and right fielder Ryan Uphouse struck out swinging with the team still down 4-2.

Center fielder Henry Dunn hit a three-run blast in the 6th inning to extend the lead to 7-2 in favor of the Bearcats. However, Mason put their rally caps back on in the 7th inning as they received a productive day from rookie designated hitter Dan Schafferman, who went 4-for-5 in the game. His double cut the lead to four runs, and Mason had bases loaded again for catcher Chris Henderson. The hitting sensation ended the threat after grounding out.

Mason seemed to finally have their chance after Schafferman tacked on his third home run of the season, plating in three runs in his four-RBI day. Pitcher Jordan Flasher came in to try to contain the Bearcats, but no matter how good the bullpen had been this season, things just crumbled as Flasher gave up three runs, which put the game out of reach. First baseman Justin Bour was Mason’s last chance, but his flyout closed the books on the 2009 season.

Pitcher Kevin Crum (8-4) gave up seven runs in six innings as he was charged with Mason’s final loss. Left fielder Scott Krieger went 1-for-5 with a run in his final collegiate game, and he closed out his career with three consecutive 20-home run seasons. The school’s all-time and single season leader for home runs had a grand total of 69 jacks. Henderson, one of next season’s key returning players, broke the school record for hits in a single season. His 97 hits surpassed former player Jeff Palumbo’s 96 hits.