By Yasin Jama, Staff Writer

This week, the George Mason University baseball team hosts a series of key games beginning with one against the Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday at 3 p.m., followed by a three-game weekend series versus the Old Dominion Monarchs.

The Patriots have been up and down in 2010. After last season’s appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament and being ranked in the top 25, Mason had to replace some several key players, but that has not prevented the team from going downhill this season.

On Wednesday, Mason put a tally in the win column by defeating the UMBC Golden Retrievers, 19-2. Senior shortstop Ryan Soares led Mason with five RBIs on three hits. Mason will need to continue its hot streak on offense if they want to continue their winning ways against the Terrapins and Monarchs.

With a mediocre start to the season, Maryland sports an 11-15 record as of last Thursday. Maryland has not been known nationally for their baseball program, and they typically finish around .500, year in and year out. However, the Terrapins earned the victory on Wednesday against the Navy Midshipmen, 5-1.

Maryland’s pitching was the difference in the victory. Junior Eric Potter pitched a no-hitter through three innings and had four strikeouts. The Terrapins also added three of the five runs early in the game, led by senior David Poutier’s two-run double in the third inning.

Old Dominion is also struggling this season. They enter the weekend series against the Patriots with a 12-17 record and have lost four of the past five games. The Monarchs’ only victory was their spilt doubleheader against the Georgia State Panthers.

The Monarchs were led by sophomore pitcher Ben Tomchick, who pitched eight innings, give up five hits and recorded nine strikeouts as the Monarchs won the game 6-1.