Midweek Preview: George Mason

Fresh off a series win over Penn State this weekend in College Park, Maryland shifts its focus now to George Mason. The Terps defeated the Patriots in Fairfax, Virginia, 3-1, on March 30 in their second midweek contest last week. 

Matt Shaw and Bobby Zmarzlak led the way for Maryland offensively a week ago, each collecting two hits. In the low-scoring affair, starting pitcher Logan Ott shut down the opposition with five scoreless innings on just three hits allowed. The Terps’ bullpen took the baton and shut the door on the George Mason offense with David Falco, Nick Robinson and Sean Heine combining for one earned run over four innings. 

George Mason Patriots (9-17)

Last season: George Mason found itself near the bottom of the Atlantic-10 conference standings last season. With Massachusetts (.158) being the only team to finish with a worse conference winning percentage, the Patriots ended 2021 with a .292 winning percentage, finishing last in the conference’s South Division. The Patriots’ hitting was middle of the pack, slashing .266/.353/.386, but it was the pitching that had them falling into the gutter of the Atlantic-10. The staff’s 6.66 ERA was narrowly better than St. Bonaventure’s conference-worst 6.76, and opposing batters nearly hit .300 against them.

This season: Roughly a third of the way through the season, George Mason finds itself in a similar spot to last year. Only three conference opponents have fewer wins. The Patriots are near league-average in almost every team statistic. They rank sixth in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage and eighth in ERA. 

Hitters to watch: First baseman Scott Morgan leads the George Mason offense, first among qualified hitters in OPS and home runs. Leadoff hitter and second baseman Brett Stallings leads all regular starters with a .333 average. 

Pitchers to watch: George Mason has just one pitcher with an ERA below five, its Friday starter Jared Lyons. Out of the bullpen, the Patriots deploy just one hurler who has not made a start with an ERA below six. Maryland’s offense has been known to chase starters and get to bullpens early in games, where it typically takes advantage. Look for the Terps to do the same again. 

Probable pitching matchup

Logan Ott vs. TBD

Ott has been Maryland’s primary midweek starter this season. Fourth on the team in innings pitched, the sophomore touts a 5.24 ERA in six starts, all but one in midweek games. With just one game this week before the weekend series against Minnesota, Ott should get the ball again today. 

George Mason has deployed a number of different midweek starters this season. In last week’s matchup, Britt Yount got the start and allowed one earned run over three innings. In its previous two midweek contests, Danny Hosley and Chad Gartland started on the mound. Hosley tossed seven scoreless innings in a win over Coppin State, while Gartland went just three innings in a loss to Georgetown.