Baseball Swept in Massachusetts, Falls against Columbia

Fordham continues to struggle as the season rolls on. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham continues to struggle as the season rolls on. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Struggles continue for the Rams as the Fordham men’s baseball team suffered another series loss at the hands of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst in a three-game set last weekend. Fordham’s attempts to rally late in the games fell short as the Minutemen dominated at the plate. In hopes to snap a five game losing streak, the Rams took on Columbia University yesterday, ultimately dropping yet another game, 16-3. 

In the first game against UMass, sophomore starting pitcher Cameron Knox gave up the first run of the game in the fourth inning with Mike Gervasi hitting a two-run home run. Knox’s pitching woes only continued throughout the inning, as the Minutemen put up six total runs to make the score 8-0.

The Rams scored their first run in the top of the seventh with junior third baseman Zach Selinger coming home off a groundout to the second baseman courtesy of senior center fielder Jason Coules. 

Trouble sparked in the eighth for freshman relief pitcher Beau Rottmann as he loaded the bases. Ultimately, the Rams managed to get out of the inning safely, stranding all three Minutemen.

A last ditch attempt from the Rams was underway in the top of the ninth as Coules kicked off the scoring. With a single to center field, he drove in Selinger, and later went on to steal second base. After two consecutive walks, junior pinch hitter Will Findlay walked home. Graduate student shortstop C.J.Vazquez and freshman left fielder Cian Sahler wrapped up the inning as they each drove in one run; however, the Rams’ scoring stopped there. 

Fordham dropped the first game 8-5, looking toward Sunday’s double header to secure a win.

UMass once again struck first, this time in the first inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Brooks Ey surrendered four runs before wrapping the inning up, stranding one Minuteman.

Quick baserunning from senior catcher Andy Semo helped the Rams get a runner in scoring position, perfectly setting up Coules to send him home on an RBI single in the second.  

UMass extended their lead to 6-2 during the fourth with another two run home run — this time from Drew DeMartino. Fordham responded in the sixth as Semo scored on an error from the Minutemen, and a sacrifice fly from Coules brought in Selinger to cut the Minutemen’s lead to two, 6-4.

DeMartino proved to be an issue for the Rams pitchers as he added another run to UMass’ lead, but their hitting slowed down for the next few innings.

Fordham once again attempted to regain the lead in the eighth as Selinger scored off an RBI single from senior left fielder Jake Guercio. The Rams stopped their campaign there, dropping game two 7-5.

The last game of the series began promptly as game two of the Sunday doubleheader. Senior starting pitcher Cory Wall struggled from the get-go, giving up three runs in the bottom of the first before being replaced by junior Ben Kovel. The latter did not prove to be a drastic improvement as Kovel gave up three runs as well, before wrapping up the first inning with a 6-0 deficit. 

Fordham got on the board in the third inning with a Selinger single driving in Findlay. The UMass pitcher and catcher combo of Jack Steele and Dylan Judd struggled, providing Fordham the opportunity to capitalize in the third. A wild pitch and passed ball scored Vazquez, and Steele gave up a three run home run directly after to freshman right fielder Sebastian Mexico, making the score 6-5, putting the Rams in a two run striking distance from the lead.

Fordham took the lead in the fifth for the first time in the series as Semo’s RBI single scored Vazquez to tie, and Mexico’s RBI single allowed Selinger to run home, taking the lead 7-6.

UMass struck back quickly in the bottom of the fifth, evening the score at seven, and once again reclaiming the lead in the sixth with a bases loaded walk off graduate student relief pitcher Joseph Quintal, 8-7.

Both teams failed to add any runs to their total for the rest of the game, causing the Rams to drop their fifth straight game with a score of 8-7.

The one game series against Columbia highlighted the Rams pitching issues as freshman starting pitcher Connor Haywood gave up four runs, causing a pitching change in just the second inning. 

His replacement, Sahler, surrendered one run in the second, bringing the total to 5-0, Columbia. The third inning fared much better for Sahler, as he gave up no hits.

The Rams got on the board in the fourth, courtesy of an RBI double from sophomore shortstop Chris Genaro. Trouble occurred in the bottom of the fourth as Sahler fell apart on the mound, giving up four home runs to the Lions, bolstering the Columbia lead to 10-1. 

Fordham managed to put up two more runs in the top of the sixth with sophomore first baseman Michael Taylor scoring on a wild pitch and a single from Sahler brought the Rams total up to three.

Fordham pitchers all continued to give up runs to the Lions, putting a victory out of reach. Sophomore pitcher Jack Popolizio entered the game in the sixth and wild pitching scored Columbia’s Kyle Corso. With only one more out to go, Popolizio gave up another run to close out the inning, 13-3. 

The rest of the game fared no better for the Rams as they surrendered three more runs, ultimately ending the game with a measly three runs, 16-3. The Rams are in the midst of their second longest losing streak of the season, previously snapping their nine game losing streak last month against Siena College. As they deal with a struggling pitching rotation, the Rams are running out of time to make their season count.