ODU Eliminated From CAA Tournament By George Mason

May 27, 2004
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

May 27, 2004

Box Score

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Junior outfielder Matt Cookey's two-run triple keyed a seven-run ninth inning as top-seeded George Mason eliminated No. 5-seeded Old Dominion, 11-5, in the fourth game of the 2004 Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Championship Thursday at UNC Wilmington's Brooks Field.

The Patriots won for the first time in 15 tries this season when trailing after eight innings and improved to 38-16 overall. The Monarchs finished their season with a 26-27 mark.

Junior righthander Donnie Smith started and working 6 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out two. Sophomore reliever Dana Arrowood (5-4) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on just two hits in two innings.

GMU starter Eric Gibbons pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Patriots and surrendered four earned runs on 10 hits. He walked three and fanned three. Reliever Jason Mills (4-3) picked up the win after scattering four hits over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Senior shortstop Jeff Palumbo, junior outfielder Adam Innerst and senior outfielder Bruce Baldwin collected two hits apiece to anchor GMU's 14-hit attack. Palumbo went 2-for-2, scored twice and drew a pair of walks. Innerst went 2-for-5, scored twice and drive in two runs. Baldwin went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

Arrowood, also the designated hitter, and sophomore outfielder Steven Harris paced ODU at the plate with three hits apiece. Arrowood went 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk and scored three times, while Harris went 3-for-5 with three base hits.

After ODU went ahead, 5-4, in the bottom of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Allen Strick, the Patriots took advantage of sloppy fielding by the Monarchs to explode for seven runs in the ninth. Robby Jacobsen reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice by Jimmy Freund. Baldwin dropped down a bunt that Arrowood threw wildly past first base, allowing Jacobsen to score the tying run. Cooksey then laced his two-run triple to set a new career mark and the Patriots lit up the scoreboard for four more runs to put the game out of reach.

GMU loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the first before plating two runs off Smith. Palumbo doubled off the leftfield wall to start the rally, Cooksey drew a walk and Chris Looze singled to right to fill the bags. Nick Shimer's sacrifice fly to center scored Palumbo, who became the school's all-time leader in runs scored, to put the Patriots up front, 1-0, and a ground-out to short by Innerst brought Cooksey home with the second run.

ODU pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 2-all. Arrowood singled to left to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Derek James. Brandon Carter then blooped a single to left and Strick drew a walk to load the bases. Arrowood then scored ODU's first run when he tagged on an outstanding catch in foul territory by Baldwin. Carter moved to third and Strick took second on the play and Carter raced home on a wild pitch by Gibbons after Evan Chipman went down swinging.

The Monarchs scored two more runs in the fifth to build a 4-2 advantage. Justin Gregula reached on an infield hit and sped to second on a grounder to second by Harris. Arrowood's third single of the day pushed Gregula to third and James ripped a two-run double that went all the way to the leftfield wall to score both Gregula and Arrowood.

Innerst cut the deficit to 4-3 with a two-out homer in the top of the sixth. Innerst connected off Smith for his 15th round tripper of the season, a towering shot over the leftfield wall.

The Patriots rallied again to tie the game again in the top of the seventh. Jacobsen led off with a single to left and Freund pushed him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Baldwin then followed with an RBI single through the left side to even up the score at 4-all.