FAIRFAX, Va., Mar. 22, 2013 – George Mason struck for five runs in the third and added a Tommy Vitaletti grand slam in the fourth to take an early lead and went on to defeat James Madison 11-2 in the opener of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Friday afternoon at Spuhler Field.
JMU lost its third game in a row to fall to 11-9 overall and 4-2 in the CAA. GMU improved to 11-10 overall and 4-3 in the league.
Vitaletti went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, hitting a double to go along with this grand slam. His effort aided starter Jared Gaynor, who improved to 2-2 with a complete-game outing. Gaynor limited JMU to two runs, one earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts in his nine innings of work.
Sophomore Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J., Seton Hall Prep) took the loss after surrendering seven runs on five hits in three innings. Senior center fielder Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) was the lone JMU position player with multiple hits, smacking a pair of doubles and being hit by a pitch.
In addition to Vitaletti, third baseman Blaise Fernandez was 3-for-5 with two RBIs for GMU. First baseman Mick Foley also had a pair of hits as part of the 12-hit attack for the Patriots.
JMU struck first with a run in the third as Bladel drove in freshman catcher Bobby San Martin (Fairfax, Va./Centreville).
However, Mason struck back quickly with its five-run bottom of the third. Vitaletti’s single tied the score at 1-1 and the Patriots kept things going with an RBI single by Duncan Satherlie, a two-run single by Fernandez and a fielder’s choice groundout by Anthony Montefusco.
After Vitaletti’s slam in the fourth, JMU got one run back in the sixth with Bladel scoring on a passed ball. Mason scored twice in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by Tucker Tobin. Vitaletti later scored when Fernandez reached on an error.
The teams will play game two of the series on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.