Maryland baseball fell 9-5 at George Mason on Wednesday, once again dropping below .500 on the year.
The Patriots jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the Terrapin bats woke up and scored three runs. However, a great Maryland scoring opportunity was squandered in the eighth, and the Patriots added insurance runs down the stretch.
Aaron Yurko, who came into the game batting .143, had two hits and drove in three runs for George Mason. Freshman right-hander Patrick Halligan threw 6.2 effective innings for the Patriots.
Redshirt freshman lefty Drew Wilden was the starter for Maryland. He went three innings, his longest outing of the year, giving up three runs on three hits.
George Mason took a quick lead in its half of the first. A single and two walks loaded the bases, and Yurko singled through the middle to put the Patriots on top 2-0. Bailey Klein lined a solo home run in the third to stretch George Mason’s lead to 3-0.
Justin Vought took a fastball off the wrist that caused some anxious moments in the second inning, but temporarily stayed in the game. However, he was replaced by Zach Doss in the top of the fourth.
Mark DiLuia came on the the fourth inning and was in trouble immediately. Yurko doubled and Greg Popatak singled, with Yurko holding at third base. A single by Daniel Brooks scored Yurko to make it 4-0 Patriots. One out later, a walk loaded the bases, and a hit batsman scored another run. The Patriots now had a five-run lead.
Two unearned runs off Sean Fisher in the sixth made it 7-0 George Mason.
Through six innings, Maryland managed only two hits off Halligan, singles by Michael Pineiro and Benjamin Cowles. But the Terps’ hitters came alive in the top of the seventh. Maxwell Costes was hit by a pitch and Doss walked. After Josh Maguire lined into a double play, Caleb Walls, who played his freshman year at George Mason, hit an infield single and Cowles walked to load the bases. Pineiro’s second single of the game plated two Terrapins, and AJ Lee followed with an RBI single to bring the Terps to within 7-3.
The Terps had a golden opportunity to put more on the board in the eighth inning, as Taylor Wright dropped down a bunt single and Costes doubled down the left-field line. However, with runners on second and third and no outs, Doss, Maguire and Walls went down in order.
George Mason scored twice in the eighth off John Murphy. With two baserunners aboard, Yurko hit a long fly that Pineiro snagged before hitting the wall and losing the ball, bringing home two runs.
The Terps did not go down easily in the ninth. A sac fly by Randy Bednar brought home one run, and an RBI single by Wright made it 9-5. Maryland had two runners on and the tying run on deck, but wouldn’t get any closer.
Maryland falls to 18-19 overall. The Terps’ next game is Friday at home against Ohio State.