FAIRFAX, Virginia – Despite a four run rally, including a Randy Taveras three run homer in the top of the ninth, the Marist baseball team fell to the Geroge Mason Patriots 10-9 on Saturday. With the loss Marist falls to 5-4, while the Patriots improve to 4-6.

Taveras led the Red Foxes on the day offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double, home run two runs scored and four RBI. Andrew Rouse chipped in a 2-for-3 effort with two runs scored an RBI and two walks and Greg Kocinski finished the day going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Chris Tracz chipped in a 1-for-4 effort with two RBI, Matt Pagano finished 1-for-3 with a run scored, Tyler Kirkpatrick chipped in a hit and a run scored as well and Tyler Kapuscinski finished with a hit on the afternoon.

John Parisi got the start and finished with three and one third innings pitched, giving up four runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Spencer Bunting threw two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits with two walks and one strikeout, Austin Phillips, in his first appearance in a Marist uniform, pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits with one strikeout and Ryan Thomas threw two innings and gave up four runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.  

The Patriots got on the board first in the bottom of the first when Michael Smith led off with a double to center field. During the next at bat, Smith advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a baulk to give George Mason the 1-0 lead.

The Red Foxes answered in the top of the third after Kirkpatrick singled to left field and Anthony Lazar walked to set up men on first and second with no outs. Both runners advanced to second and third on a Kapuscinski sac bunt and Gregoire followed with a sac fly, scoring Kirkpatrick and it was 1-1.

One inning later, Marist took the lead when Rouse led off with a single up the middle and Tavares doubled to left center. Tracz followed with a bunt down the first base line that scored Rouse before Tracz beat the play at first and Tavares scored from second on a heads up base running play to give the Red Foxes the 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, the Patriots answered after Logan Driscoll led off with a double to left center and advanced to third during the next at bat on a wild pitch. Trevor Kelly followed with a single to center, that scored Driscoll to trim the deficit to 3-2. After a strikeout, Ryan Tassone doubled to left field, scoring Kelly and Tim Quinn followed with an RBI single that scored Tassone and George Mason was back in front 4-3. Bunting replaced Parisi on the mound and was able to get out of the inning without any further runs scoring.

For the third consecutive inning, Marist scored in the top of the fifth when Gregoire walked with one out. During the next at bat, he stole second and Kocinski walked to set up men on first and second. Pagano reached on a fielder’s choice that retired Kocinski at second and advanced Gregoire to third and Rouse followed with a walk to load the bases. With Taveras at the plate, a wild pitch scored Gregoire from third and the game was tied 4-4.

However, as they did in the fourth, the Patriots answered in the bottom of the inning. Phillips replaced Bunting on the hill and Kelly homered to left center with one out to give the Patriots the lead back at 5-4.

In the top of the seventh, Kapuscinski led off with a single to right field. After a double play retired the runner on base, Kocinski singled through the right side and Pagano singled to second base to set up men on first and second. Rouse walked to load the bases and Taveras was hit by a pitch, scoring Kocinski to tie the game at 5-5.

For the third time in the game, George Mason answered in the bottom of the inning. Thomas replaced Phillips on the mound and Tyler Nelin led off with a single up the middle. Driscoll walked and Kelly followed with a sac bunt to set up men on second and third with one out. After an intentional walk to Greg Popatak loaded the bases, Tassone singled to center, scoring Nelin, Quinn singled to center, scoring Driscoll and Brady Acker reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Popatak and the Patriots were ahead 8-5.

George Mason added to its lead in the bottom of the eighth. Smith led off with a double to right field and two batters later, Driscoll tripled down the right field line, scoring Smith. Kelly followed with a hit by pitch and during the next at bat stole second and Driscoll stole home on the throw to extend the Patriot lead to 10-5.

Down to their last at bat, the Red Foxes looked to rally. Kocinski led off with a double to right center and Pagano walked. Rouse singled up the middle, scoring Kocinski. Down by four runs, Taveras came to the plate and smoked a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall for a three run homer, his second home run of the year and just like that it was a one run ball game. After back-to-back ground outs, Lazar walked to put the tying run on base but George Mason was able to hang onto the victory, getting the next batter to strike out swinging to emerge victorious 10-9.

Up next, the two teams will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow at 1 PM.