Baseball Avoids Sweep from St. Louis, Falls to Sienna

Fordham was able to salvage a win over Saint Louis in game two. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham was able to salvage a win over Saint Louis in game two. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Maddie Bimonte, Assistant Sports Editor

After the Fordham men’s baseball team’s matchup against Manhattan College was canceled last Tuesday, the Rams turned their attention to their first Atlantic 10 matchup of the season against the St. Louis University Billikens. The teams were originally slated to wrap up the three game stretch on Sunday, however, rain forced a Saturday double header instead. Fordham also played a non-conference game against Siena College yesterday, wrapping up a busy week.

Kicking off the weekend, the Rams and the Billikens were off to a slow start. Both teams struggled to get players on base and, in the top fourth inning, St. Louis recorded their first run off of sophomore pitcher Cameron Knox, who replaced senior starting pitcher Gabe Karslo in the third. St. Louis struck again in the top of the seventh to bring the score up to 2-0.

The Rams capitalized on a pitching change in the bottom of the eighth as graduate student shortstop C.J. Vasquez led off the inning with a single, followed by two errors made by St. Louis to advance him to third. Freshman designated hitter Sebastian Mexico singled to send Vasquez home, ending the scoring drought for the Rams throughout the game.

Graduate student relief pitcher Joseph Quintal and the Rams navigated out of a bases loaded situation in the top of the ninth, only to miss an attempt to even the score in the bottom of the inning, losing 2-1.

Saturday would be another test for the Rams as they faced the Billikens for a double header. St. Louis once again struck first, this time scoring in the top of the third inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Brooks Ey conceded two runs, putting the score to 2-0 in favor of the Billikens. 

Fordham’s first run of the day came from sophomore third baseman Nico Boza, as he scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the sixth. But, the Billikens answered back in the top of the eighth, with a solo shot to left field from Fitzgerald. The score then sat at 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth.

In an electric eighth inning, the Rams started it off with a walk from freshman outfielder Cian Sahler. Senior Jack Harnisch came in to pinch hit for Boza and delivered a two-run home run to left field, equalizing the score to 3-3. 

With the game hanging in the balance, Fordham utilized sophomore pinch runner Chris Genaro to replace Vasquez to add additional speed to run the bases. It was a strategy that proved to work, as Mexico singled out to left field, and senior catcher Andy Semo gave up a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Genaro ran home courtesy of a passed ball by St. Louis. 

The Billikens faced tough pitching from junior relief pitcher Ben Kovel, who forced three straight ground outs, helping the Rams avoid the sweep, 4-3. With one last game on the table, the Rams stood a chance of taking the series with each team having one win.

Saturday’s game two started off quick with St. Louis, who got the jump on Fordham with Schild driving in the first run of the game. They would add more runs in the top of the third against freshman pitcher Robbie Stewart as two runners scored off a single to left field.

St. Louis continued to pour on the runs, adding one in the top of the fourth and three more in the top of the fifth, this time off of freshman pitcher Connor Haywood. 

The Rams’ first run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth, where Mexico scored off a wild pitch. Two Rams were left on base, thwarting any attempts to put a dent into the 7-1 St. Louis lead.

A last ditch effort came from the Rams in the bottom of the ninth as a string of walks loaded the bases. Sellinger kicked off the runs, scoring on a wild pitch, followed by a single from Sahler to bring home Harnisch. Senior center fielder Jason Coules was the last Ram to score, however, even with three extra runs, the Rams could not overcome the St. Louis bats, dropping the game 7-4. 

Hoping to get things back on track, the Rams rounded out their week against Siena College on Tuesday. While the Rams conceded two runs in the first, their hitting came alive in the second. Mexico led off the inning with a double, followed by a series of walks from the Siena pitcher Arnad Mulamekic, loading the bases.

Patience at the plate allowed graduate student first baseman Casey Brown to walk in Mexico. After, freshman catcher Diego Prieto doubled down the left field line to score Coules and Sahler, and a sacrifice fly from Vazquez sent Brown home. Now at 4-2, the Rams hoped to extend their lead.

The Rams conceded one run in the third and trouble arose in the fourth for Rams pitcher Stewart, as he allowed one run, evening the score, 4-4. Hayward came into relief, but allowed four more runs, bolstering the Siena lead to 8-4.

The Rams chipped slowly away at the lead during the sixth, with help from Vazquez and Harnisch. A solo home run by Sahler put the Rams in striking distance to take the lead from the Saints at 9-7.

Unfortunately, the Rams struggled in the bottom of the eighth, giving up three runs, and failed to score any runs in the ninth, losing the game 12-7.

The Rams have another A-10 matchup, this time on the road against the University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen for a three game series this weekend. They then face off against Columbia University for a one game series on Tuesday.