Baseball Suffers in Tough Weekend Stretch


Baseball suffered a tough stretch of losses this past week. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham baseball team is off to a rocky start in their non-conference schedule after being swept by North Florida University in Florida this past weekend during a four-game stretch. With the Rams returning for their first game at Houlihan Park this year against Stony Brook, the competition was tough as they went on to drop their opening day game.

After a stretch of rough non-conference battles against schools such as Dallas Baptist University and Old Dominion University, the Rams hoped to start off this series on a brighter note, bringing a more well rounded pitching rotation as well as in-the-clutch offense.

There surely was no shortage of home runs for both teams in game one, as the Ospreys opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first with a three-run home run. Fordham wouldn’t shy away so easily with senior Will Findlay hitting a solo shot. While the Rams tacked on another RBI to bring their total to two, North Florida began to pull away, adding on three more runs courtesy of an RBI double and a fielding error from the Rams.

Senior Zach Selinger also added another solo home run to the Rams’ total. However, the lead was still 6-3 for the Ospreys, and they did not slow down from there. The Ospreys hit three home runs. North Florida’s Dallen Leach cemented himself as the man of the game as he hit a two-run home run followed up by a three-run shot later in the game. Fordham was able to tack on some last-minute home runs from Selinger and Findlay, but the Rams would go on to drop the match 13-6. Saturday featured a double header, but bad luck continued for the Rams.

Things started off on a better foot with the Rams finally getting their first lead of the weekend in the third inning with five runs. To start things off for the Rams was sophomore Cian Sahler, driving in an RBI double.

The Ospreys’ pitching struggled tremendously during the inning, with a wild pitch causing the Rams to score another, and later on a passed ball would result in another Ram scoring.

North Florida stayed resilient, working back to tie the Rams by the bottom of the eighth, and then taking the lead on a few Fordham errors to add two to their total.

Things just weren’t in the cards for the Rams as they attempted to rally back, however, sophomore J.T. Watcher struck out with a man on base, ending the game, 7-6.

Another nail biter followed for the Rams, as their second rubber match of the day stretched into 10 innings.
Fordham came out the gate hot with a four-run third inning, as three Fordham players all reached base on singles. Watcher was able to redeem himself after the last game, driving in two runs during the inning, and two other Rams made it safely around the base path to score four runs.

Then, in the fifth, junior Michael Taylor joined the hitting party, scoring junior Ryan Thiesse, for a 5-0 ballgame heading into the sixth.

Yet, the Ospreys have shown to be a tenacious team during the series, and today’s double header was no different.
North Florida put up one in the bottom of the fifth and three in the sixth to pull within one run at 5-4. With one run just in sight, the Ospreys then tied the game at five on a solo home run by Alex Lodise, in the bottom of the eighth.
Fordham later loaded the bases in the 10th, but Sellinger’s line drive to the third baseman was safely caught, giving the Ospreys another chance to wrap things up.

It was a smartly played bunt by Drew Leinenbach to conclude things for the Ospreys as they had runners on the corners. Junior pitcher Trey Maeker was in position to get the bunt, but to no avail.

The Rams dropped the double header, this one with a score of 6-5.

With one last game on the line, things just weren’t coming up for the Rams.

The Rams and Ospreys would trade runs for the lead, as Fordham pitching suffered in the third as they gave up four straight walks.

Thiesse would score thanks to graduate student Peter DiMaria on a sac fly to make the score 3-2, but the Ospreys were ready for the challenge.

Fordham was facing a strong performance all weekend from North Florida’s Alex Lodise, who showed up once again in the bottom of the fifth to deliver a three-run homer breaking open the game for the Ospreys. This marks Lodise’s fifth home run of the year.

While the Rams would add one more run to their total, slimming the lead down to two, they couldn’t get it done as North Florida would once again answer the call, extending their lead to 8-4 to end the series.

The Rams finally were able to return home as they began to enter a six-game homestand, starting things off on Tuesday against Stony Brook. With the Rams jumping to score first, they added three runs in the first, with Thiesse, Sahler and DiMaria all scoring.

However, it would be that long ball that would continue to plague Rams pitchers as graduate student Austin Sachen would give up a two-run homer to Evan Giordano in the third. Fordham answered back with another run, this time, from a Watcher RBI single, but once again, the long ball was back with a vengeance.

In the fourth inning, sophomore pitcher Connor Haywood would be the one to give up another home run, allowing the Seawolves to tie things up at four. Things went downhill for the Rams from then on, as the Seawolves went up to tally four more runs throughout the game, giving the Seawolves their first win of the season.

For the Rams, there is still work to be done in the rotation. However, with conference play still a little bit of time away, there is enough time for the Rams to improve.

The Rams will be back in action, continuing the homestand on Wednesday, March 7 against Saint Peter’s University for one game and then a three-game stretch this weekend against Quinnipiac University.