The Fordham Ram

Rams Get Third Straight A-10 Series Win

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Rams Get Third Straight A-10 Series Win

Anthony DiMeglio came on relief of Greg Weissert to complete the Rams’ shutout of Rhode Island on Saturday. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).

Anthony DiMeglio came on relief of Greg Weissert to complete the Rams’ shutout of Rhode Island on Saturday. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).

Anthony DiMeglio came on relief of Greg Weissert to complete the Rams’ shutout of Rhode Island on Saturday. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).

Anthony DiMeglio came on relief of Greg Weissert to complete the Rams’ shutout of Rhode Island on Saturday. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).


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By Sam Belden

Anthony DiMeglio came on relief of Greg Weissert to complete the Rams’ shutout of Rhode Island on Saturday. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).

Through three Atlantic 10 series, Fordham Baseball is off to a 6-3 start, good for a tie for third in the conference. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram).

Fordham Baseball has remained busy over the past week. After losing a non-conference game to Siena on Wednesday, the team hosted Rhode Island over the weekend and took two out of three, for a third consecutive series win against an Atlantic 10 opponent.

Perhaps the most positive development of the week was the Rams’ continued strength from the mound. Sophomore pitcher Ben Greenberg, who leads all Fordham starters with an ERA of 2.49, was injured during last week’s series against La Salle, but his teammates picked up the slack, allowing just nine runs over the four games.

“Our pitching this week was huge,” said Head Coach Kevin Leighton. “They really stepped up with the loss of Ben Greenberg. We have some talented guys on the mound, and it’s fun watching them compete.”

Fordham’s first game of the week against Siena was close throughout, but the Saints ended up coming away with the victory. In the third inning, the Rams put the first run of the game on the board thanks to a single from graduate student leftfielder Ryan McNally, but they could not hold on to the lead. Over the next four innings, Siena second baseman Jordan Bishop hit a two-run homer and an RBI single. Third baseman Jordan Folgers added a home run of his own, giving his team a three-run lead. Fordham junior pitcher Parker Barnell surrendered all four runs.

Trailing by three in the bottom of the ninth, Fordham attempted a comeback. With one out, junior centerfielder Jason Lundy singled through the right side to score classmate and catcher Pat Gardner. The next two Fordham batters quickly made outs, however, leaving the score at 4-2.

On Friday, Fordham played the opening game of its three-game home series against Rhode Island. The contest saw strong pitching performances from both sides, but the visitors ultimately won 3-1. Fordham starter junior Kirk Haynes, Jr. struck out six and allowed just one run in seven innings of work, a big bounceback from his dud of a start against La Salle, in which he allowed seven runs in less than two innings. However, Rhode Island starter Tyler Wilson was even better, pitching a complete game and striking out 10 to earn the win.

While the game was an exciting one in terms of pitching, it was more muted from an offensive standpoint. Rhode Island third baseman Martin Figueroa hit a home run in the sixth inning to give his team a lead that it would not relinquish, and his team tacked on two more runs in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Fordham senior third baseman Ian Edmiston, who had advanced from first to third on an error, scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to two, but that was the final run of the game.

Regardless of the result, the game allowed Haynes to rebound, making it a positive one for the Rams. He attributed his bounceback to the support from those around him. “My coaches and team still had confidence in me on the mound,” Haynes said.

In Saturday’s game, Fordham’s pitching was once again strong, shutting out Rhode Island. This time, however, the offense was also on its game, and the result was an 8-0 victory. Fordham got one runner across the plate thanks to a wild pitch in the second inning, but the offensive onslaught really began in the sixth, when the team scored four runs. Notably, McNally hit his seventh home run of the season, a total that leads the team, while junior rightfielder Mark Donadio doubled to knock in another run and keep the rally going. In the eighth inning, hits from senior second baseman Joseph Runco and freshman catcher Justin Bardwell scored three more runs, the last ones of the game.

On the mound, junior starting pitcher Greg Weissert delivered an outstanding performance, striking out eight and walking one in eight innings of scoreless work. Freshman Anthony DiMeglio entered the game to pitch the ninth and completed the shutout.

Fordham was not as dominant during Sunday’s rubber game, but the result was the same. Rhode Island took an early lead in the top of the first, but the home team got it right back in the bottom of the inning. McNally hit an RBI single to score Bardwell and wound up advancing to third base on an error. Junior Luke Stampfl hit a sacrifice fly to knock him in, putting Fordham on top. One inning later, senior shortstop Joseph DeVito hit an RBI single, and soon after, McNally walked with the bases loaded to give his team a three-run lead. Fordham did not score for the rest of the game, holding on to win 4-2.

Fordham’s pair of senior pitchers, Joseph Serrapica and Jimmy Murphy, had quality outings. The former allowed two runs in seven strong innings, while the latter pitched two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the save.

Fordham’s conference record is now 6-3, tied for third in the A-10. According to McNally, these have been big wins for the Rams. “Guys always give it their all in A-10 play, with their best pitchers on the mound, so the games tend to be hard-fought and low scoring,” he said. “This weekend was an example of that.”

Speaking of McNally, the New Jersey native is a big reason for the Rams’ success this season. In his final season, he has hit seven homers and 27 RBIs and is slugging .576, all career highs. While he acknowledges that he has made some mechanical changes to his swing, McNally says that the reasons for his power surge goes deeper than that.

“Baseball is a very mental game,” he said. “It all starts in your head, then manifests on the field. Like many other players, I have been a barrier to my own success in the past. I still have a lot to learn, even as I finish my career, but I’m thrilled that I’m coming around in time to help my team win.”

Next, Fordham will host Fairfield before traveling to North Carolina to face the Davidson Wildcats who are 7-5 in the A-10 this season. After that, the Rams will have just four conference series to go before the A-10 Championship, which will be held at Fordham this year.

“I don’t want to make any bold predictions, but I do believe if we continue to play one game at a time, we will be a strong contender in the A-10,” said Haynes. “This is the best start to a season we have had since I have been here. Now as a team, our goal for the season is to keep the momentum going and have a strong finish.”

Action against Davidson will kick off at Wilson Field on April 22 at 6 p.m.

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Rams Get Third Straight A-10 Series Win