Three-Run First Inning Sends Mason Baseball to A-10 Semifinals

By Atlantic 10 Conference
Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference


ARLINGTON, Va.— Greg Popatak hit a bases-loaded double to drive in three runs and lift No. 2 George Mason to a 4-0 win over third-seeded Fordham to reach the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship Thursday at Tucker Field.


The Patriots (28-25) will play Friday at noon and will face the winner between No. 1 Saint Louis and No. 5 Davidson. Fordham (35-18-1) suffered its first loss of the double-elimination tournament and will play No. 7 George Washington Thursday at 5:00 pm.


Popatak’s double to right center, which came with one out, pushed Trevor Kelly, Logan Driscoll and Brady Acker home. From there, though, the game became a bit of a pitcher’s duel, with the only other run coming in the bottom of the sixth when a Michael Smith single drove home Popatak.

Bryce Nightengale (9-6) was strong in the win, throwing 6 2/3 innings and allowing five hits and no runs. He struck out five in the effort. Ryan Ricci picked up his third save of the year, throwing 2 1/3 innings and allowing just one hit.  Fordham starter Anthony DiMeglio (8-3) pitched the full game for the Rams, taking the loss on a six-hit performance with four runs (three earned) and six strikeouts.

Popatak’s 3-for-4 performance led all hitters, as did his three RBI. Reiss Knehr was 2-for-3 to lead Fordham at the plate.

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