Fordham Breaks Single-Game Run Record and Wins 3 Out of 4

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Fordham Breaks Single-Game Run Record and Wins 3 Out of 4

Fordham Baseball broke the school’s record for runs scored in a game last Wednesday in a 29-1 win over Saint Peter’s. (Courtesy of Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Baseball broke the school’s record for runs scored in a game last Wednesday in a 29-1 win over Saint Peter’s. (Courtesy of Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Baseball broke the school’s record for runs scored in a game last Wednesday in a 29-1 win over Saint Peter’s. (Courtesy of Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Baseball broke the school’s record for runs scored in a game last Wednesday in a 29-1 win over Saint Peter’s. (Courtesy of Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)


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By Jack McLoone

Fordham Baseball broke the school’s record for runs scored in a game last Wednesday in a 29-1 win over Saint Peter’s. (Courtesy of Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Setting a school record is a great way to kick off a week. A new record for runs scored in a game is even better.
Fordham Baseball topped St. Peter’s 29-1 on Wednesday, and followed that up by taking two of three from Atlantic 10 opponent Rhode Island. Fordham is now 18-9-1.

St. Peter’s is, well, not good. The Peacocks have yet to win a game this season. Teams will occasionally play down to competition, but the Rams haven’t done so in either of their games against the Peacocks, winning their matchup 18-0.

“A big focus of ours has been to compete at a high level no matter who we are playing or what their record is,” said head coach Kevin Leighton. “I thought our guys performed very well and winning that game definitely helped us stay focused and move on to our next opponent.”

That next opponent was the Rhode Island Rams, and the Fordham Rams carried their momentum into their matchup with Rhody. Game one, however, got the series off to a slow start for Fordham with a 6-2 loss.

Through six innings, neither team had scored a run. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, as Fordham stranded six runners in scoring position and Rhode Island five.

Junior starting pitcher Reiss Knehr pitched his way into and out of trouble over his six innings of work. Knehr has struggled with command all season, and walked four batters for the fourth time this season. Knehr relies on a tailing fastball, and his problems seem to arise when it doesn’t have that tailing action; it stays outside of the zone instead of cutting back in.

Knehr had runners on the corners with two outs three separate times. In the second innings, both runners were on base courtesy of walks. He got out of all three of those jams, including a beautiful strikeout looking to end the threat in the fifth.

Leighton isn’t too concerned about the junior’s struggles.

“I thought Reiss pitched well, and at times you will have a ‘good’ walk,” he said. “He has competed and battled [through] his starts recently and although he hasn’t been perfect he has still given us a good opportunity to win just about every game he’s pitched this year.”

While he gave the Fordham Rams a good opportunity in this one, they failed to capitalize.

After a controversial base runner interference no-call – a similar call was made against Fordham earlier in the game – Rhode Island loaded the bases with two outs against sophomore reliever Brian Weissert, and a three-RBI double down the line gave Rhody a lead they never relinquished.

The base runner interference no-call (and earlier call) were just a couple of the contested plays throughout the series, with both sides repeatedly disagreeing with calls made on the field by the umpire crew.

“No doubt there were some calls that URI’s coach and I didn’t like throughout the weekend. I find myself at times having to really take a deep breath,” said Leighton. “Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t and I think the more we understand that we have no control over certain things the better we will be, and that’s something I have to remind myself often.”

Another break that the Rams didn’t get was an injury to their leader at the plate and their closer, sophomore Alvin Melendez. He left the seventh inning with what Leighton described as a pulled hamstring. There’s no timetable on his return.

Saturday’s game went much better for Fordham, ending in a 4-0 win, as they tend to when senior Ben Greenberg is on the mound. Rhode Island picked up just two hits. Only one came off Greenberg, who also walked two, hit one and struck out six over seven innings. His season ERA is now just 1.34. A discrepancy on the NCAA stats leaderboard has him at 39th in the country, but he should actually be tied for 20th (Davidson erroneously charged him with an extra earned run but has yet to change it).

“Greenberg was tremendous, and when you are down 0-1 in the series it’s huge to get a performance like that,” said Leighton. “Again, I think the biggest thing Ben does well is compete, but his cutter and curveball were both very good and he was able to locate both when he needed to make a big pitch.”

Fordham plated its first run in the third, when freshman Jake MacKenzie came home on a wild pitch. A squeeze bunt from Knehr gave them another in the fourth. The Rams scored two more in the fifth, when sophomore Matt Tarabek scored on a passed ball and then junior Brian Goulard scored one more on an RBI single.

Weissert and sophomores Brandon Martin and Kyle Martin finished up the game on the mound, with Kyle giving up Rhode Island’s one other hit.

The rubber match on Sunday was yet another dominant performance on the mound for Fordham, with seven innings of two-run ball from junior Anthony DiMeglio pacing the Rams for a 5-3 victory. He struck out a career-high nine (the seven innings pitched were also a career-high).

As a whole, the Rams now have a 3.18 ERA, which would put them at 25th in the country (if Greenberg’s ghost earned run was eliminated). A lot of that is due to the success of the starting three.

Fordham went up 2-0 early on a two-RBI single from Nick Labella in the bottom of the second. Rhody tied it back up at two runs apiece in the top of the third. The Rams took back the lead, on a balk of all things, in the top of the seventh, then tacked on two more on a two-RBI single from Goulard in the bottom of the eighth.

The Rams are firing on all cylinders right now, as it seems the weather is finally getting warm. They seem to be performing in the mold of Fordham Women’s Basketball, well out-performing their expectations due to being so young, in large part due to solid performances from their lone senior (Greenberg is G’mrice Davis in this metaphor, which isn’t too bad).

They’ll look to continue their strong season in a doubleheader against Siena on Wednesday, April 11 starting at 3 p.m., followed by a weekend trip to A-10 foe La Salle for a three-game series.