Rebounding from early-game adversity, the George Mason High School varsity baseball team erased a five-run deficit and surged past Madison High School 14-6, on April 16 at the Mountaineers’ field north of Charlottesville.
The win gave Mason a 3-0 record in the Bull Run District, with another key district game Tuesday 5pm at home against Strasburg. Overall for the season, Mason is 5-5.
GM trailed 5-0 after two innings, but started showing fight in the 3rd, when Tyler Roth smashed a ball to the fence and legged it all the way around for a score, aided by the Madison fielder who hoped to peg him coming into third, but instead threw the ball wildly into the Mountaineers’ dugout.
In the 4th inning, the middle of the Mason order put together a string of solid at-bats: Max Kaplow led off with a double; a catcher’s interference call put Quinn Casteel on base; Tyler Duncan singled; P.J. Anderson hit a bases-loaded “suicide squeeze” bunt single for an RBI; and Evans Mandes got a sacrifice fly. That all yielded Mason two runs, trimming Madison’s lead to 5-3.
In the 5th inning, Mason went quietly 1-2-3, and when the 6th inning started with the first Mustang batter grounding out, odds for a late Mason rally were not looking good.
But rally they did, and in a very big way. Seven of the next eight Mason batters got on base and came around to score. Casteel started it off by earning first base on a hit-by-pitch, then Duncan singled him in; Mandes doubled, scoring Duncan to tie the game at 5-5. Michael Wolfe singled in Mandes; Wolfe scored on another smash to the outfield by Roth; Roth scored on a Stephen Lubnow single; and Stephen scored on a hit by his brother Brian, who scored when Max Kaplow hit a ball that a Madison infielder booted. Madison changed pitchers in the midst of the Mason fury, but the Mustangs batted all the way around plus three and ran up to a 10-5 lead.
In the bottom of the 6th, Madison’s leadoff batter hit a home run, but that would be their last score. In the top of the 7th, Mason continued to mete out punishment, as the Mustangs’ first four batters reached base — Anderson doubled, Mandes singled, Wolfe walked, Roth singled — and all ultimately came in to score, boosting Mason’s lead to 14-6, its final margin of victory.
Mason used four pitchers — Roth started, and John Freeman, Casteel, and Brian Lubnow each pitched stints in relief.
In addition to Tuesday’s home game against Strasburg, the Mustangs’ week ahead includes two non-district contests against larger schools — Thursday 5:30pm at George Marshall, and Saturday noon at home against Broad Run.