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Opponent Preview: George Mason

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Meet the Patriots... They’re getting better, but still not all that good

GoPack.com

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: George Mason

Mascot: Patriots | School Location: Fairfax, VA | Conference: Atlantic 10

2018 Record: 10-11 (3-0, T-1st A10) | 2018 RPI Rank: 233

2017 Record: 26-33 (13-11, T-5th) | 2017 RPI Rank: 192

2016 Record: 19-35 (7-17, 12th) | 2016 RPI Rank: 274


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park, Raleigh, NC

Game Time(s): Tuesday, Mar 27 @ 3:00pm

TV: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WKNC 88.1 in Raleigh

Live Stats: Sidearm Sports


Tell me about this team

George Mason is a team that is not as good as their record indicates, as they’ve played an incredibly weak schedule to this point. They’ve only played one Top-100 RPI opponent (Louisville, 55), and they lost 15-8. The Patriots did start the season off 0-8, so they’re on a nice little 10-3 run currently, although seven of those ten wins have come against sub-200 RPI teams.

They’re not overly deep on offense or in the pitching staff. George Mason is slashing .269/.365/.381 with 87 BB to 183 K. The Patriots pitchers have a 6.04 team ERA with opponents hitting .288/.378/.414 against them with 85 BB and 172 K.

Key Players:

Offense

C/OF Logan Driscoll (SO) - .458 BA, .484 OBP, .602 SLG, 83 AB, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 21 R, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 4 K, 5-6 SB. Hands down the best hitter on the team. Rarely strikes out. In the midst of an 8-game hitting streak, seven of which have been multiple hit games. The 6’1, 195 lbs sophomore slashed .323/.413/.479 as a freshman with 10 2B, 2 3B, and 4 HR and a 20:19 BB-to-K ratio. Has also thrown out 6-of-14 would-be base stealers this year from behind the dish.

1B/OF Trevor Kelly (SR) - .318 BA, .372 OBP, .529 SLG, 85 AB, 5 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 17 R, 19 RBI, 5 BB, 17 K, 2-2 SB. Like Driscoll, also has an 8-game hitting streak going, during which time he’s registered six of his ten extra base hits for the season. Driscoll is a four-year starter for the Patriots.

OF Brady Acker (RS-JR) - .345 BA, .441 OBP, .621 SLG, 29 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 12 K, 1-1 SB. Acker is coming back from an injury, having played his first game in almost three weeks in this past weekend’s series sweep of St. Bonaventure. He’s a career .294 hitter.

Pitching

RHP Jared DiCesare (SO) - 2-3, 9.31 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, .370 OBA, 19.1 IP, 30 H, 20 R, 20 ER, 11 BB, 18 K. DiCesare will be getting the start on the mound for George Mason against NC State. In the midst of a horrible season for DiCesare is one excellent start against Fairfield, where he went six shutout innings while striking out five. The rest of his appearances (5 total on the year with 3 starts) have been forgettable. He did go 2-4 with 4 saves and 3.55 ERA as a freshman, so he’s probably better than what he’s shown so far this year... although facing this State hit machine of a lineup is probably not going to show it.

RHP Ryan Ricci (SR) - 2-1, 1 SV, 2.30 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, .246 OBA, 15.2 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. The Patriots top reliever with 30 total appearances and a sub-3.00 ERA combined over the last two years. He got the win in relief on Sunday, but he could appear in this one. After Ricci, the bullpen gets very hairy.


Quick! Fun Facts!

NC State holds a commanding 24-4 lead in the all-time series between the two programs.

The Patriots have had six alums reach the Majors, with the three most notable being Chris Widger (1995-2006), Shawn Camp (2004-2014), and current MLBer Justin Bour (2014-2017).

George Mason has made seven NCAA postseason appearances in school history, but has never made it past the Regional round. They were in the same regional in Tallahassee as NC State in 1988.


Prediction

Reid Johnston gets the start for the Wolfpack. Not sure if the plan is to have him go as long as he can, or if he’s just the first in the Johnny Wholestaff pitcher parade. Either way, I think Johnston puts together a strong game and NC State wins this one easily, 9-2.