Baseball Outscores Iona 33-3 in Weekend Sweep


Nick Labella (above) helped lead Fordham to a weekend sweep over Iona. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Baseball has found its legs.

After losing six of its first seven games, Fordham has won its last eight, including last weekend’s sweep over Furman and this weekend’s sweep over Iona.

Fordham beat Iona over three games at Houlihan Park in the Bronx this past weekend, and the Rams did so in dominant fashion. Fordham outscored Iona 33-3 over the three-game series, and the Rams won the two Sunday games by a combined 25 runs.

Friday’s game was the first of the series and also the most difficult for Fordham. The fact that Fordham had little difficulty winning the game said more about the series — and the Rams’ play — than it did about the game itself. Fordham jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings with two of the three runs coming on hits by sophomore outfielder Jason Coules. Coules has emerged as Fordham’s leading hitter early in the season, batting .469 with 23 hits in 15 games. He hit third in the lineup at all three games this weekend, and his consistent production should allow him to stay in the heart of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

Fordham junior left-handed pitcher Matt Mikulski turned in an excellent outing, with 5.2 scoreless innings. Mikulski has given up just three earned runs in 21 innings this season. The freshman tandem of Jack Popolizio and Ben Kovel combined to allow just one run over the final 3.1 innings to hold off the Gaels and earn Fordham a 3-1 victory. 

Friday’s win, while impressive, was nothing compared to what Fordham had in store for Sunday.

Fordham jumped all over Iona on Sunday’s first game with three runs in the second inning, eight runs in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth. Seniors Matt Tarabek and C.J. Vazquez led the way, driving in three runs each. Sophomore pitcher Cory Wall got the victory with five scoreless innings, and sophomore Brandon Martin also threw two scoreless innings in relief. When it was all said and done, Fordham had coasted to a 16-2 victory and would continue this momentum into the second game of the doubleheader.

There, Fordham got off to a similar start as game one. Coules once again jump-started the attack, with an RBI single in the first inning to put Fordham on the board first. The Rams broke through for five runs in the next inning, highlighted by a Tarabek two-run home run. Junior and Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year John Stankiewicz was excellent over five scoreless innings, and the combination of sophomore Gabe Karslo, freshman Alex Henderson, senior Alvin Melendez and freshman Garrett Crowley held down the fort over the next four innings as Fordham completed the sweep with an 11-0 win.

With their latest victories, the Rams have now won eight straight games. However, things will be different this week, as Fordham will play two games against Wagner and St. John’s without an audience due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Wednesday’s game against Wagner will start at 3 p.m.