Baseball Team Ends Season with Two Losses in NCAA Tourney
Posted: June 7, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
The George Mason baseball team lost a pair of games over the weekend in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament to complete its season with a 39-19 record.
After 11 years of waiting to return to the tournament, the Patriots squandered the opportunity in the opening round of the Charlottesville Regional on Friday, committing four errors and squeezing out just six hits as the Patriots fell to Vanderbilt, 7-3 in the first game of the double-elimination tournament. The George Mason bats stayed quiet on Saturday afternoon as Virginia eliminated the Patriots from the tournament with a 7-2 win in Charlottesville, Va.
George Mason tied a school record for Division I wins this year with 39 and the offense broke team records for runs, hits, runs batted in, and at-bats. Unfortunately, the team that averaged 8.7 runs per game, eighth-best in the nation, managed just five runs in two games at the Charlottesville Regional.
When the dust settled in the first game, George Mason starter Eric Gibbons was charged with three earned runs with four Patriot errors resulting in the other four runs. Gibbons went seven innings for the Patriots, striking out a career-high seven batters and walking a career-high five. He surrendered eight hits and his record fell to 6-5 on the year.
Top-seeded Virginia got all the runs it would need in the second inning. Stacen Gant took the loss for George Mason, his first of the year. He ended the season 10-1 with a 2.72 earned run average. He struck out 87 batters in 119 innings, allowing just 95 hits and 32 walks. Teams batted .218 against him this year.
While the season ended with three straight losses for the Patriots, it was still a satisfying year for both the team and several individuals. Aside from the aforementioned team records, Jeff Palumbo also had one of the great seasons in school history. He broke the single-season school record for hits in a season (96) and runs in a season (81). He also set new school career records for hits, runs, at-bats, games played, and games started, and he finished his career among the top six in RBI, steals, and hit by pitch.