Jordan Mason Leads Explosive Offensive Performance in 17-0 Shutout Over Virginia Wesleyan

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Christopher Newport junior Jordan Mason registered hits in each of his first five at-bats leading an offensive explosion against Virginia Wesleyan University (3-2) on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at Captains Park, 17-0. The Captains scored 11 runs in the first inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Nicholas Baham and a three-run triple by Mason in his second at-bat of the inning. 

The Captains improved to 5-2 overall this season with the dominating offensive performance, which was also paired with an impressive pitching effort holding the Marlins to just three hits in the team's second shutout of the season. Rookie Gray Goodrich (1-0) impressed in his first collegiate start, tossing five shutout innings with just two hits allowed. He struck out 7 batters, including five over the first three innings. 

Goodrich retired the side in just eight pitches in the top of the first and the Captains offense took over from there. Facing rookie pitcher Zach Lubick, Mason led off with a single, followed by three straight free passes to score the first run on a bases loaded walk by Craig Johnson. The next batter was Baham, who hit a towering fly ball over the left field wall for his second home run of the season. After Brandon Ginch walked to chase Lubick from the game without retiring a batter, the Captains offense kept rolling. 

Nick DiNapoli singled with a hard shot through the left side and the bases were loaded again when Brandon Walker walked, sending Mason back to the plate for his second at-bat of the inning. On the first pitch of the AB, Mason hit a laser into center field, getting by the diving outfielder to clear the bases with a triple. The Captains would hit for the cycle as a team when Conner Clark and Seth Woodard stepped in next and doubled into runs in back-to-back at-bats. 

In all, the Captains scored 11 runs on six hits in the first frame, blowing open the game right from the outset. CNU would score three in the fourth, and one run each in the third, sixth, and seventh innings. Meanwhile, the pitching staff allowed a runner past first only once, and stranded him on second in the second inning. As a staff, the Captains struck out 15 batters. 

In relief of Goodrich, Brian Owenscontinued his strong start to the season with a perfect 6th, striking out a pair. Jaret WestNathan Clements, and Joe Burris each struck out two in clean innings of their own. 

Mason was 5-for-5 with three singles, a double, and a triple, when he stepped in for his sixth at-bat in the 8th inning. The junior outfielder fell just shy of the program record for hits in a game when his infield hit was snagged by the shortstop and fired across the diamond to retire Mason by one step. Still, he is just the third player since 2012 to register five hits in a game, joining A.J. Nicely and Tommy Vitaletti. In the process, he picked up 3 RBI and scored 3 times. 

DiNapoli was the only other Captain with a multi-hit performance, driving in a pair and scoring twice in a 2-for-5 effort in his first start of the season. The Captains bench also had a strong day as Carter BiringerAlex Abbey, and John Anderson all delivered hits. 

CNU will now host Susquehanna and SUNY Oswego this weekend with four games scheduled for Captains Park. The Captains will first take on Susquehanna at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 23, followed by a 1:00 pm bout against the River Hawks on Saturday, February 24. On Sunday, February 25, Oswego State will take on Susquehanna in a neutral site matchup at 11:00 am, followed by the Captains against Oswego at approximately 2:00 pm.