The Fordham Ram

Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

Fordham+catcher+Justin+Bardwell+had+three+hits+in+Sunday%27s+8-6+victory+over+North+Florida.+%28Russell+James%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

Fordham catcher Justin Bardwell had three hits in Sunday's 8-6 victory over North Florida. (Russell James)

Fordham catcher Justin Bardwell had three hits in Sunday's 8-6 victory over North Florida. (Russell James)

Fordham catcher Justin Bardwell had three hits in Sunday's 8-6 victory over North Florida. (Russell James)

Fordham catcher Justin Bardwell had three hits in Sunday's 8-6 victory over North Florida. (Russell James)


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Jack McLoone

After a rough yet better-than-expected opening weekend against SEC powerhouse Texas A&M, the Fordham baseball team traveled south once again to take on a more equitable opponent, the University of North Florida Ospreys. The Rams split the four-game series to notch their first two wins of 2019.

The first game of the series, on Friday, was the Rams’ first extra-innings heartbreaker of the season. Sophomore starting pitcher Matt Mikulski made his second start of the season and cruised through his first five innings, giving up just two singles while striking out four and walking one.

Mikulski entered the sixth inning with a lead, after junior third baseman Matt Tarabek hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore shortstop Jake MacKenzie. The latter had gotten to third by stealing two bases after hitting a single. The Rams stranded runners on second and third when freshman designated hitter Jason Coules struck out.

Those runs they left on the board came back to haunt them immediately, as Mikulski started to unravel in the sixth. He allowed two runs after giving up four straight singles while recording just one out on a fielder’s choice before being pulled for sophomore John Stankiewicz with the Rams down 2-1. The reliever hit one batter and gave up another RBI single before finally striking out two batters in a row to end the inning down 3-1.

After having runners on second and third in the seventh but not scoring, the Rams were able to tie the game in the top of the ninth on a two-run home run by sophomore first baseman Nick Labella. The Rams had a chance to take the lead after a failed pickoff attempt allowed junior Alvin Melendez to go from first to third with two outs, but after a MacKenzie walk, senior catcher Justin Bardwell grounded out to short.

Both teams’ pitching staffs held steadily in extra innings, with seven total strikeouts over the first two and a half innings of extras. But in the bottom of the 12th, junior Brian Weissert walked the first three batters to load the bases with no outs. Melendez relieved him but walked the first batter he faced to give North Florida a walk-off walk win in 12, 4-3.

The Rams and Ospreys played a double-header on Saturday, with the second game of the day being a scheduled seven-inning game.

Sophomore Joseph Quintal made the start for the Rams in the 1:05 game on Saturday and had the benefit of starting with a one-run lead thanks to an RBI groundout from Melendez in the first. Overall, he had a mostly successful, if short, day, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just two runs. Redshirt junior Mike Cowell gave up another three runs over his 1.2 innings but also got some support from the Rams’ bats, as through six innings the game was tied 5-5.

The Rams took the lead for good in the seventh inning for their first win of the season. A Melendez double, Tarabek single and Labella double plated two runs, with a wild pitch scoring Labella to make it 8-5. Senior Anthony Zimmerman pitched two scoreless in the sixth and seventh, and freshman Gabriel Karslo ended the game with a two-inning save.

The Rams came out firing in the second half of the doubleheader, pouring on four runs in the first inning. MacKenzie scored on a throwing error on a CJ Vazquez ground ball, and then Bardwell hit a three-run home run, his first of the season, to put the Rams up 4-0 right away.

However, senior starter Anthony DiMeglio’s early-season struggles continued, as he lasted just two innings while giving up four runs (though only two were earned). By the end of the second, the game was already tied 4-4. The Rams’ offense was mostly silent the rest of the day after its strong start and was unable to answer when the Ospreys put up two runs against junior Marc Bisogno in the fifth and another off Weissert in the sixth for a 7-4 loss in seven innings.

Despite the short turnaround after two long days, the Rams were able to get going early against the Ospreys in Sunday’s 1:05 getaway game. After a scoreless first, the Rams used some station-to-station baseball to score three runs in the second, with the three runs scoring on a sacrifice fly, sacrifice bunt and a single to take a 3-0 lead.

The Ospreys scratched two runs out against the starter Melendez in the bottom of the second, ending his second start just as quickly as his first. Melendez stayed in the game at DH and picked himself up immediately, hitting an RBI double in the third. An RBI single from Bardwell put Fordham up 5-2. A home run from Baker in the fifth made that 6-2.

Things got dicey in the eighth with the Rams up 7-3. Freshman Cory Wall gave up four singles while recording just one out and allowing two runs to make it 7-5. He was pulled for junior Kyle Martin with one out and a runner on second. An error by junior second baseman Justin Machado and a fielder’s choice allowed one more run to score, making it 7-6 heading into the ninth.

But Melendez once again made up for his pitching struggles, hitting a single to drive in Baker from third to put the Rams up 8-6. Martin slammed the door shut, striking out two of three batters in long at-bats to secure the Rams’ second win.

Now 2-4, Fordham Baseball had its home game against Sacred Heart University, scheduled for Feb. 26, postponed due to cold weather and driving winds. The Rams will then have one last search for warmth by traveling to Princess Anne, Maryland, to take on Maryland Eastern in a four-game series starting Friday, March 1.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Baseball Drops Two of Three in Final Out-of-Conference Series

  • Baseball

    Fordham Baseball’s Jake MacKenzie Swipes His Way Through the Atlantic 10

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    An Unwritten Rule is Holding Back Baseball

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    What’s Up With the Champs?

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Fordham Baseball Drops Two of Three Home Games to St. Louis

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Baseball’s Best Players Right Now

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Rams Sweep St. Joe’s Behind Strong Pitching, Leighton Wins 200th

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Baseball Opening Weekend

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Baseball Now 3-3 in Conference Following 1-2 Weekend at Rhode Island

  • Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida

    Baseball

    Scores & Stats

Navigate Right
Fordham University's Journal of Record Since 1918
Baseball Secures First Wins of 2019 Against North Florida