ARLINGTON, Va.— For the first time since 2013, the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship Final will pit the top two seeds against each other.
No. 2 George Mason (29-26) used an offensive onslaught to defeat No. 7 George Mason, 9-4 and advance to the A-10 final Friday night at Tucker Field. The Patriots will play top-seeded Saint Louis at 11:00 am Saturday.
It will be the second title game appearance for Mason, who won the championship in 2014, their first year in the A-10. It will be the second matchup of the week for SLU and George Mason, which also met Friday the semifinals. The Billikens won that one in 11 innings after rallying in the ninth.
George Washington, which had survived three elimination games on the week, ended its season at 32-26. The Colonials were the first seventh seed to reach the third day of the baseball championship.
Mason opened the scoring with a two-run homer by Trevor Kelly in the first. Kelly who also hit a home run Wednesday against the Colonials, hit his second of the game and third of the championship in the fifth inning. Kelly led George Mason with a 3-for-5 performance, collecting three RBI.
In between Kelly’s longballs, the Patriots scored three runs in the fifth inning on singles by Michael Smith and Alejandro Aponte and a double by Frank Sturek. Aponte added one more run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly, and one in the eighth on a Daniel Brooks single.
GW got two of the runs back on a Colin Brophy two-run home run in the seventh, and the Colonials tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs on bases-loaded hits by Brandon Chapman and Sam Martin, but Mason turned back the rally after the two runs. Matt Cosentino and Chapman each had two hits and Brophy led GW with two RBI.
Brian Marconi (5-1) earned the win, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Pat Knight (5-6) took the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits in one inning of work.