By Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

The George Mason University baseball team was deadlocked at 7-7 with the Delaware Blue Hens with the bases juiced and no one out.

Sophomore right fielder Dan Schafferman stroked a single to left-center field to give Mason the 8-7 win on Friday.

Mason improved to 24-12 overall and 8-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association to preserve its position in the standings. The Blue Hens fell to 20-16 overall and 3-7 in the conference.

In a back-and-forth battle, the Patriots overcame deficits of 3-1 and 6-2 to tie the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning. But, in the seventh inning, the Blue Hens regained the lead up until the bottom of the ninth inning.

Senior first baseman Ryan Cuneo came to the plate with one out and launched his ninth homerun of the season to give the Blue Hens a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Delaware later added a run in the inning to take the two-run lead.

After Mason cut the lead in half in the fourth inning, the Blue Hens struck again in the fifth inning as junior designated hitter Steve Ulaky sent a two-run homerun to extend the Blue Hens’ lead.

While Delaware had its biggest lead at 6-2 through four-and-a-half innings, the Patriots refused to quit as they scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Redshirt junior first baseman Dan Palumbo recorded a two-run single to bring the Patriots within two runs.

In the sixth inning, Mason knotted the game up at 6 as sophomore left fielder Brig Tison doubled in two runs.

But, the two teams continued to respond to the rallies. The Blue Hens broke the tie when Ulaky hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring junior left fielder Pat Dameron from third base.

The Patriots, who had their six-game winning streak ended on Wednesday in a 10-3 loss to the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va., came to the plate in the ninth inning, determined to avoid back-to-back losses.

Senior shortstop Ryan Soared led off the inning with a double and scored on the ensuing play as senior third baseman Mark Hill had the green light on a 3-1 pitch and sent it down the right field line.

Junior designated hitter Shane Davis was intentionally walked, and Palumbo was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Schafferman, who was hitting in the low .200s earlier this year, wasted little time and hit the walk-off single to give Mason the win in the series opener.

The Patriots racked up 12 hits in the game with Tison and Schafferman posting two hits and two RBIs apiece. Soares went 2-for-3 with two runs and two doubles.

Senior starting pitcher Kevin Crum scattered nine hits and six runs in his no-decision, but the team’s two errors led to four unearned runs.
Sophomore pitcher AJ Johnson threw a scoreless ninth inning and earned the win, improving to 2-0 on the season.