American Universtiy pounded out 13 hits to back the seven-hit pitching of David Divan as the Eagles routed Geroge Mason, 10-2, in a Capital Collegiate Conference baseball battle for first place yesterday at American.
Now 13-2, AU regained the conference lead by winning its seventh straight game and breaking a nine-game George Mason winning streak. The Patriots are 13-3, a half-game behind.
American took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Pat Paolella doubled home Rob Kimble, who had opened the game with a single. The Patriots tied the game on Jim Moyer's RBI single in the second.
Scoring five runs in the third, the Eagles broke the game open. Scott Fitzgerald led off with a double and Paolella followed with a single, his second of four hits for the game.
After a walk to Jim Jeffries, Ron Smith's infield single drove in a run. Bob Maxwell's forceout drove home another run and when Patriot second baseman Ted Jackson threw the ball away, another run scored. Dave Sardelli and Kimble followed with run-scoring singles to chase losing pitcher Jack Ferrick (4-1).
Meanwhile, Divan (4-0) was working in and out of trouble. He struck out nine and stranded 12 Patriot base runners. "I used the curve as my strike-out pitch," said Divan, a 6-foot junior right-hander, "but this is the first time I've gone nine innings so I stuck with the hard stuff when I tired in the final three innings."
Darryl Mann's solo homer over the center field fence gave AU a run in the sixth and the Eagles scored three insurance runs in the seventh.
Paolella led off with his third hit and went to second on an error. Jeffries singled, scoring pinch runner Scott Hurwitz, Jeffries moved to second on a ground out and Maxwell was intentionally passed. But Sardelli ruined the strategy by lining a two-run double to left.
Paolella's hits kept his batting streak alive at 12. "I'll hit anything," said the senior catcher, "But those pitches were hanging curves and easy to hit."
George Mason does not play the Eagles again this season. American has five games remaining while the Patriots play four.
Blake Junghans' three-run triple keyed a six-run 14th-inning rally as George Washington defeated host Georgetown, 7-1, in Capital Collegiate Conference baseball yesterday.
Ken Lake went the distance to pick up the win for George Washington, 9-6. Tom Bass took the loss as Georgetown fell to 0-16.