Fordham Swept in Opening Series at Texas A&M

The Rams suffered a three-game sweep in Texas this past weekend. (Courtesy of  Fordham Athletics)

The Rams suffered a three-game sweep in Texas this past weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham men’s baseball team kicked off their season in College Station, Texas, facing the Texas A&M Aggies in a three-game series this past weekend. The Rams failed to secure a win, getting swept by the Aggies. 

In the season-opening game, the Rams struggled to hold back Texas A&M, losing 13-1 on Friday. The Aggies relied on infielder Trevor Werner, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI’s. The Rams’ only run came early on, as senior outfielder Jake Guercio was hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on a ground-out.

Junior catcher Will Findlay brought Guercio home with a single driven right up the middle. From then on, the Rams could not get any more runs on the board. 

Senior starting pitcher Gabe Karslo went four innings and recorded a scoreless first inning. Karslo’s opening day line allowed two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. However, trouble for the Rams struck in the fifth inning as the Aggies extended the lead to 5-1, with Werner providing an RBI-double. Texas A&M then broke the game open with an eight-run seventh inning for the 13-1 final score.

Other pitching efforts came from junior Ben Kovel who went two innings of relief, allowing two earned runs with two strikeouts, while junior James Springer posted 1.2 innings of relief with all five outs being strikeouts.

 At the plate on Friday, Fordham managed just four hits in the game with Guercio, Findlay, freshman T.J. Wachter and senior Richard Grund each having a hit.

In game two, the Rams managed to drive in more runs, but they did not come until late in the game. The Aggies jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings against sophomore starting pitcher Brooks Ey, scoring once in the first and twice in the fourth and fifth innings. 

Texas A&M started off their day with a run on a sacrifice fly in the first, a home run by Werner in the second and another sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead. Werner added yet another run for the Aggies in the fifth courtesy of an RBI-double and later scored on an error.

 After going scoreless for seven innings, the Rams bats heated up as senior infielder Jack Harnisch and senior catcher Andy Semo opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Up next was graduate student infielder Casey Brown who delivered a pinch-hit double into the left field corner, scoring Harnisch from second, making the score 3-1.

The Rams pulled within two in the eighth, courtesy of an Aggies error. Senior outfielder Jason Coules was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second after a walk to Findlay. After a ground out moved the runners up, Semo hit a ground ball back to the pitcher, who threw the ball away to first, allowing both Coules and Findlay to score.

 Brown came to the plate as the potential tying run, but his grounder was snagged by the first baseman to end the rally. Robert Hogan then kept Fordham at bay in the ninth to record his first save with Micah Dallas earning his first win.

 Sophomore reliever Cameron Knox pitched three scoreless innings of relief, giving up just two hits. At the plate, Vazquez and Semo each had two hits in the game to lead the offense. Sunday was the last opportunity for the Rams to stop the potential sweep.

In game three, Fordham took the initial lead in the top of the fifth inning. After a hit by pitch, a sacrifice bunt and a walk, freshman infielder Ryan Meyer sliced a single into left field to score Semo from second for a 1-0 lead. 

Pitching stood out in the game for the Rams due to a spectacular start from junior Jack Popolizio, who threw five scoreless innings. Popolizio allowed just two hits with three strikeouts over five innings.

After a pitching change in the sixth, Texas A&M brought up Brett Minnich to the plate, who connected on a solo home run to center to pull the Aggies even at 1-1.

 The Rams exploded in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Texas A&M went into their bullpen for Walker Zander, as freshman Sebastian Mexico came up to the plate. Mexico’s bat was hot, drilling a double to the right center gap and clearing the bases for a 4-1 Rams’ lead.

 The Aggies pulled back within two at 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but graduate student Joseph Quintal was able to lock it down through the eighth.

 Disaster struck in the bottom of the ninth, when Dylan Rock delivered a pinch-hit single up the middle for the Aggies, bringing Logan Britt to the plate as the winning run. After a nine-pitch at bat, Britt blasted a two-run home run to left center, allowing the Aggies to sweep the series with a final score of 5-4.

Looking to regroup, Fordham will return to Houlihan Park for their home opener on Wednesday where they will face Sacred Heart University at 3 p.m.