As of Friday, May 18, the Mason Varsity baseball is 6-11. Obstacles like a lack of depth on the mound and batting inconsistencies have led them to lose a few more games than anticipated, but still, they look to the postseason in high hopes. One major accomplishment for the Mustangs is beating Strasburg High School twice this year, a feat that had not been accomplished in nearly a decade.
The first matchup between the teams was at home, when the Mustangs beat the Rams 9-4 on April 17. This was the first time the Mustangs had beat Strasburg in nine years.
“The top of the first [inning] didn’t go our way. We had a couple of errors and mistakes on defense,” head coach Adam Amerine said.
However, the Mustangs hit their stride after the behind the arm of junior Jay Nesson. He pitched all seven innings with 108 total pitches and five strikeouts.
Mason went on to play the Rams again on May 4, this time on the road. Both teams remained scoreless until the sixth inning when junior outfielder Brian Murphy hit an RBI single to bring senior third baseman Thomas Dean in for the winning run.
“It felt pretty good. We hadn’t beaten Strasburg at their home field in a really long time so when I scored it was a good way to beat them,” Dean said.
Nesson pitched six innings of this game and had sophomore second baseman Caleb Parnell pitch the final inning. He had 107 pitches with ten strikeouts, totalling to twice the amount of strikeouts with one less pitch than the previous encounter against Strasburg.
“Jay pitched really well. Nobody could make solid contact. He’s really good at mixing up his pitches and keeping batters off balance,” junior shortstop Aidan Clark said.
While the April 17 win marked the first win against Strasburg in nine years, this month’s win marked the first time in ten years that the Mustangs beat them on their field, and was the first time mason has swept them since 2006.
Before these games, the team was struggling with confidence and overall energy. However, the recent victories have inspired a new hope for coaches and players alike. Maybe this new inspiration can lead the team to a winning record and a chance in the playoffs.
“We had a lot more energy in the dugout in those two games. It seems like we are just more passionate in general as a team now,” Murphy said.
That energy became apparent on Monday’s senior night, when Mason defeated Mount Vernon 10-0 with stellar performances from junior outfielder Johnny Asel pitching, and senior first baseman Thomas Creed who had three hits for five RBIs on the day.
The Mustangs will play Strasburg again at home on Monday, April 23rd to try to keep the sweep alive. The Rams will be returning with a vengeance, so it’s important that the Mason fan base comes out to support the team.