Coming off an 8-5 loss to Fairfield last Tuesday, Fordham Baseball rebounded with a strong week of play. With a win over Columbia and a series win against Davidson, the Rams improved their record to 22-20.
On Wednesday, Fordham visited Columbia for a matchup against its Ivy League rival. Freshman Ryan Remo got the ball for the Rams and had a strong outing against the Lions. He went seven strong innings and allowed a sole run alongside four base hits.
Fordham got the ball rolling on the offensive side early in the game. Junior Mark Donadio brought in a pair of first inning runs, courtesy of a double. Graduate student Ryan McNally followed up with a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the third, as well as a solo home run in the fifth. Senior Jimmy Murphy pitched the final two innings and held on to a 4-1 lead, earning his third save on the season. The victory was the second of the year for Remo.
Over the weekend, the Rams were down in North Carolina facing a strong Davidson team that is battling with Fordham near the top of the A-10 standings. Friday’s game was postponed because of rain and made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader.
Both teams tallied nine hits in the first game, but Fordham could not use those base runners to manufacture runs. Clark Beeker threw shutout ball for the Wildcats with a dominant complete game performance. He struck out five Rams and gave up no free passes or extra base hits. Junior Kirk Haynes Jr. could not hold down the Wildcats in the same way. Lee Miller blasted a grand slam in the fifth inning as Fordham fell 5-0.
Game two was a much better showing for the Rams. Junior Greg Weissert got Fordham into an early 2-0 hole but held the Wildcats at bay. Fordham started scoring in the fourth inning with a single off the bat of junior Jason Lundy. Two innings later, the Rams took the lead with a base knock from freshman Justin Bardwell that plated two. Senior Ian Edmiston followed up with a RBI double.
Davidson cut Fordham’s lead in half with a run in the bottom of the sixth. The 4-3 lead was expanded in the eighth when Lundy struck again, this time with a double. In the ninth, the Rams tacked on insurance runs with RBI doubles by McNally and junior Luke Stampfl and a run-scoring single from Donadio.
Donadio made an impressive catch in right field to end the fifth inning. The buzz-worthy grab may have ignited Fordham’s offense. Donadio recorded three of the Rams’ 12 base hits in the game. Davidson played sloppy ball by committing four errors and only tallying four hits. The Rams split the double header with a 9-3 win in game two.
The rubber game of the series on Sunday went to Fordham. The Wildcats scored an unearned run in the first frame, but the Rams answered back with two unearned runs of their own. Davidson tied the game at two in the fifth inning.
The Rams put a couple of runners on in the sixth and McNally connected for his ninth home run of the year. The three-run blast was accompanied by a Bardwell single that brought home the fourth run of the inning. With a 7-2 lead in the eighth, Davidson pushed across a couple more runs, but Murphy extinguished the Wildcats’ threat and ended the 7-4 game. Freshman Reiss Knehr picked up his first collegiate win with 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
Coach Kevin Leighton has been impressed with how the team has fought this year. “Winning the series at Davidson was huge for us, since they are a team that, right now, is in the mix for a playoff spot,” he said. Leighton knows that winning two out of three is big, no matter who the opponent is.
The Rams also played Tuesday night against Manhattan College, losing 7-5.
The rest of Fordham’s games are against A-10 teams, starting with a series against Massachusetts over the weekend. Leighton thinks that the all in-conference schedule will help the Rams because of injuries and needed rest for the pitchers.
The A-10 Tournament will be at Fordham this year and starts on May 25.