Baseball Wins Big Series Against Dayton, Falters Elsewhere


David Kale and Fordham Baseball have had an up-and-down last two weeks, including a series win against Dayton. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham men’s baseball team captured their first series win of the season against Atlantic 10 (A-10) opponent Dayton University last week. Their winning high came crashing down quickly, as they went on to drop a one game series against Fairfield University and their three game series against George Mason University. Fordham rebounded once again in their one game series on Tuesday against Iona College.

In the opening game against the Flyers, Fordham failed to address their pitching woes, a major aspect of their struggles over the season. Dayton had a huge third inning, capitalizing early as Fordham struggled to rebound. The highlight of the game for the Rams came from junior first baseman Will Findlay, who kicked off the bottom of the fifth with a three-run home run to left field. 

With another run brought in by graduate student center fielder David Kale, the Rams managed just four runs, up against a dominant Flyers pitching performance. Dayton pitcher Ryan Steinhauer locked out the Rams with 10 strikeouts over nine innings, leading them to a 10-4 win.

The Rams turned their performance around in game two, courtesy of a strong pitching performance from sophomore Cameron Knox. Surrendering just five hits and two runs, Knox recorded one of the better outings for Fordham pitchers this year. 

Offense delivered with Kale on a two-day hit streak, slamming a two-run home run and sophomore third baseman Michael Taylor having a huge day with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Taylor came through again in the eighth with an RBI single to bring the Rams a 6-2 win.

Fordham wrapped up the series with a solid pitching outing for sophomore Brooks Ey, as he rebounded after a poor performance against the University of Massachusetts Amherst on April 10 where he gave up four runs in one inning.

The Rams jumped at the chance to get on the board first with a groundout from senior designated hitter Richard Grund bringing in the first run of the game. Ey gave up a solo home run in the following inning. However, the Rams offense lit up starting pitcher Eli Majick in the second. Senior center fielder Jason Coules began the scoring with a solo home run, followed by three separate RBI singles from sophomore right fielder Ryan Thiesse, freshman pinch hitter Cian Sahler and Kale.

Fordham added two more runs in the seventh, from Sahler and Findlay and one in the eighth with a solo home run from sophomore shortstop Chris Genaro. The Rams hard work finally paid off as they clinched their first series win of the season, 8-2.

Things went downhill for the Rams soon after as their next opponent, the FairfieldStags, came back in the sixth inning to win the game. The Rams struck first with senior catcher Andy Semo delivering an RBI single up the middle and Thiesse, who brought in two runs with a single.

While Rams pitching started out solid, sophomore Trey Maeker was replaced in the third by freshman Connor Haywood, who gave up the lead the Rams established in the first two innings. Matt Zaffino brought the Stags back into it after a three-run home run. 

Findlay gave the Rams a slight lead of a single run in the fifth, but it was the Stags who dominated the rest of the game. Sahler entered the game for the sixth inning, giving up three runs and the win for the Rams. While there was a potential of a comeback with a ninth inning run from freshman pinch hitter Sebastian Mexico, the Rams fell back into another loss with a score of 6-5.

Turning their attention to the series against George Mason, the Rams hoped to continue their A-10 series win streak going. In a run heavy game, both teams poured it on early.

The Rams hitting began with an RBI single from Mexico and Findlay who brought in a run courtesy of a fielder’s choice play. 

Fordham was once again put to the test in the sixth, after a Patriots offense put up four runs against freshman Anthony Scarlata and graduate student Joseph Quintal. By the fifth, the Rams had gone quiet at the plate and the Patriots were up 6-2.

A huge seventh inning is what brought the Rams their win, as Findlay continues to bat consistently with a single bringing home two runners. The other Fordham batters scored on a walk after junior pinch hitter Zach Selinger was hit by a pitch, a Genaro two run double and a Kale fly-out. The Patriots were not able to take the win from the Rams, giving Fordham the first game of the series, 11-10.

Game two was another close one, this time however, it did not swing in the Rams favor. Knox took the mound, with less favorable results this time, as he gave up six runs across five innings. Sahler and Kale started the Rams scoring off in the third as Findlay delivered another solo home run in the fourth. Singular runs in the fifth and sixth only managed to chip away at the Patriots lead before they once again added to it.

After the Rams tied it in the eighth, a glimmer of hope sparked for Fordham, until a bottom of the ninth run from the Patriots caused them to take the game 8-7.

Game three was the worst outing for the Rams in their most recent games as Ey had a weak pitching day across five innings. An RBI single and a grand slam in the fourth followed by a three run home run in the fifth gave the Patriots a 10-0 lead and they were not done scoring.

The Rams lone run for the game came off a solo home run from Kale, while the Patriots went on to put up five more runs, winning 15-1. It was an abysmal end to another series for the Rams, with pitching once again falling short.

In their matchup against Iona, the Rams fared much better than in their previous games. After Iona took an early 2-1 lead in the second inning, the Rams bounced back in the third. 

Fordham loaded the bases for freshman first baseman T.J. Watcher started off the scoring in the third with an RBI single. A double play scored senior third baseman Jack Harnisch and Thiesse continued the scoring with an RBI single. The last two runs of the inning came off the bat of Sahler making the score 6-2.

More runs poured in for the Rams as they extended their lead to nine by the seventh inning. Fordham pitching stayed consistent during the game with a rotation between Haywood, Sahler and junior James Springer, as the group gave up five runs collectively to lock down a win for  the Rams, 9-5.

The Rams are back in action on Wednesday at Fairleigh Dickinson University before returning home for another A-10 matchup against Saint Joseph’s University on Friday for a three-game series.