Baseball Takes Three of Four Against Maryland Eastern Shore


Fordham Baseball took three out of four games against Maryland Eastern Shore. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Jack McLoone

Although Fordham Baseball did not find necessarily warmer weather in their final venture south to play the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Rams did find their most success thus far, winning three of their four games against the Hawks. The Rams are now 5-6 overall.

The Rams won the first game on Friday with a resounding 7-2, their biggest win of the season. They did so in the same way they won so many games last season: stealing bases. Fordham baserunners stole six bases on the day, with five of them coming in the fifth inning. To continue the trend of fives, all five of those base-stealers came around to score thanks to moving up a base, whether it was scoring on a single or a passed ball.

The other stolen base, freshman right fielder Jake Guercio’s second of the game, also resulted in a run in the seventh.

Even the Rams’ seventh run of the game was in part thanks to a steal, as when sophomore shortstop Jake MacKenzie was caught stealing at second, sophomore second baseman Justin Machado scored from third.

On the pitching side, junior Alvin Melendez made another start, staying in for a season-high four innings while giving up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out four.

He was relieved in the start of the fifth inning by freshman pitcher Gabriel Karslo, who navigated around five hits and a walk to work five scoreless frames. He also had five strikeouts. Additionally, he was also incredibly efficient, throwing just 52 pitches.

The Rams once again played a doubleheader on Saturday, which they split with the Hawks. Both halves were made into seven-inning games.

The Rams scored first after a single from senior catcher Justin Bardwell allowed MacKenzie to score after the shortstop had stolen both second and third.

However, sophomore starter Matt Mikulski had a rough go of it, however. After falling victim to an unearned run in the first, he was touched up for four more very much earned ones in the second, despite getting the first two batters out. He hit a batter, gave up a single and double, walked a batter, threw a wild pitch and gave up another two-RBI single before being pulled for redshirt junior Mike Cowell, who eventually put out the fire and ended the inning with the Rams down 5-1.

Trailing 6-2 in the sixth, the Rams had a bit of a rally, linking together a few singles and taking advantage of a passed ball to bring the tying run to the plate, which head coach Kevin Leighton decided to make Melendez, pinch-hitting for Guercio with a runner on third and two outs. However, Melendez struck out, ending the threat, and they went down meekly in the top of the seventh. They lost 6-4.

Luckily for the Rams, they did not have long to wallow in defeat nor did they. They struck in the top of the first once again thanks to basestealing, and once again in a different way. This time, it was Bardwell of all people stealing third when the throw went into left field, allowing him to scamper home for the first run. They tacked on two more in the third, with one coming thanks in part to a MacKenzie stolen base.

Sophomore starter Joseph Quintal was mostly on-point, striking out nine over six innings. However, he did allow seven hits, two walks and threw two wild pitches, though he held the Hawks to just one run.

The Rams added one run in the fourth and junior pitcher Kyle Martin came in to earn his second save by slamming the door, giving the Rams the 4-1 win.

In the rubber match of the series on Sunday, sophomore hurler John Stankiewicz took the mound and pitched a gem, throwing seven innings of one-run ball, striking out nine while allowing just three hits and one walk. The one run came in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly. He retired the next 12 batters after that, including striking out the side in both the second and third.

The Rams tied it up in the fourth thanks to, what else, a steal. Melendez stole second after being hit by a pitch before scoring on a Bardwell single. They pushed the game-winning run across in the top of the seventh after a sacrifice bunt from Machado scored junior centerfielder Billy Godrick from third. Of course, he also reached third by stealing it.

Freshman reliever Cory Wall and then Kyle Martin combined to work the final two frames, retiring each batter they faced with the slim margin to preserve the 2-1 win. Martin picked up his third save.

The Rams will finally get a chance to play a slate of home games this weekend in the Fordham Round Robin. They will play a doubleheader on Friday, March 8, starting with Iona at noon and then Hofstra with a scheduled 4 p.m. start. They will play two more games on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. and another on Sunday again at noon.