FAIRFAX, Va. – St. Bonaventure split a non-conference doubleheader at George Mason Saturday, dropping a pitcher's duel in game one, 2-1, before rebounding for an 8-3 victory in the nightcap.
Tyler Kelder paced the Bonnies offense, collecting five hits including a pair of home runs.
Bona pitching was also strong as the Brown and White had no need for the bullpen during the doubleheader with both starting pitchers throwing complete games.
GAME 1 – George Mason 2, St. Bonaventure 1
Elijah Baez kept the Bonnies in the game, allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out two in 6.2 innings, but the Patriots took the game on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Jack DeLongchamps gave the Patriots the lead with a run-scoring single up the middle, an unearned run following a Bonaventure error. That lead stuck until the sixth when Kelder tied the game by smacking a homer to left.
The Bonnies had many chances but went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position during the day.
The Patriots broke the tie in the last of the seventh as Kyle Hayes doubled to left with one away, going to third on a wild pitch. Daniel Brooks drove a fly ball deep enough to left to allow Hayes to tag and score from third for the win.
GAME 2 – St. Bonaventure 8, George Mason 3
The Bonnies shook off the opener in a hurry, grabbing momentum by plating three in the first.
St. Bonaventure sent eight men to the plate in the opening inning, scoring three times on run-scoring singles from Matthew Williams and Ben Berger as well as a run-scoring fielder's choice off the bat of Kevin Higgins.
The Patriots got a run back in the home half, but the Bonnies responded by scoring four more in the second to break it open.
Kelder singled through the left side for the inning's first tally before a sac fly from Pierce Hendershot brought another across. After chasing Patriots starter Ryan Stoudemir from the game, Berger brought in two more scores with a single to right for a 7-1 score.
Mason appeared to have a rally going in the home half of the second, apparently ready to score a run on a single from South Trimble with runners at first and second, but a heads up play in right field by Kelder caught a runner off the second base bag before the lead runner could score and ending the threat.
Kelder kept his red-hot streak at the plate alive, homering again to center in the sixth, his second of the day and third of the season. Now with 21 career homers, Kelder passed Brian Howell '95 for seventh all-time in the Bonnies record books.
Donovan Moffat earned the win with a complete game effort, allowing just three runs while walking two and striking out seven. He threw 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes.
Kelder went 4-for-4, getting aboard in all five plate appearances and driving two runs. Jack Putney, Brendyn Stillman, Matthew Williams and Berger all had two hits with Berger driving in three runs. In all, seven of Bona's nine hitters had at least one hit and the Bonnies finished with 13 hits in all during the second game.
The Bonnies and Patriots meet up in the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.
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